Crime & Courts

Investigations begin after CMPD officer fatally hits pedestrian with patrol car

Authorities remained at the scene Saturday morning where a CMPD officer fatally struck a pedestrian.
Authorities remained at the scene Saturday morning where a CMPD officer fatally struck a pedestrian. WBTV

A pair of investigations have been launched into the death of a pedestrian who was struck and killed early Saturday by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer en route to an unrelated incident.

CMPD said its Major Crash detectives are conducting a fatality crash investigation and Internal Affairs is running a separate but parallel probe. Internal Affairs will look to determine if all CMPD policies and procedures were followed, a standard review when an officer is involved in a fatal crash.

The incident happened on Morehead Street near Euclid Avenue at around 3:20 a.m., CMPD said.

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The fatal incident happened on Morehead Street near Euclid Avenue. Adam Bell abell@charlotteobserver.com

Three marked patrol cars were responding to a separate incident of a collision with injuries after a vehicle hit a building at 810 E. Stonewall St., CMPD said. All three cars were on Morehead Street when the pedestrian was struck.

CMPD said Officer Phillip Barker was driving the 2016 Chevrolet Caprice patrol car that hit the pedestrian. Barker has been with the force since January 2016, CMPD said.

The victim was identified by CMPD as James Michael Short, who turned 28 on June 29.

The pedestrian was wearing dark clothing, CMPD said, according to Observer news partner WBTV. Police also said the initial evidence shows that the officers had their lights and sirens on, WBTV reported.

MEDIC had responded to the scene just outside uptown Charlotte, and pronounced the pedestrian dead. Barker was taken to Presbyterian Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to CMPD.

The Fraternal Order of Police has hired a lawyer to represent the officer, WSOC-TV reported.

CMPD spokesman Toriarno Roddey on Saturday declined to discuss Barker’s work history. Roddey also declined to say when the last time a CMPD officer had fatally struck a pedestrian.

Anyone with information about the current case is asked to call Detective Steve Williams at 704-432-2169 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Observer reporter LaVendrick Smith contributed

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell

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