Salt Lake City police body-cam captured white officers shooting a black man who they say threatened them, but evidence of this remains unclear in footage of Patrick Harmon running away.
Police say they stopped Patrick Harmon, 50, on State Street near downtown Salt Lake City because he was riding his bicycle erratically and did not have a red rear light.
The district attorney of Salt Lake County, Sim Gill, said in an interview that the use of deadly force was legally justified because Harmon was armed and turned back to lunge at the officers while running away.
“While the officers were in very close proximity to Mr. Harmon, he presented an opened knife as he turned towards the officers who were running at him,” Gill wrote in a letter explaining his office’s determination this week. “Officer Fox reasonably believed deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself and/or others and therefore his use of deadly force was ‘justified’ under Utah State law.”