Crime

CMPD officer who hit CPCC student in fatal collision is on paid leave

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

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who hit a pedestrian while driving a marked police vehicle early Saturday is on paid administrative leave, the department said Monday.

The crash is now at the center of two investigations - one criminal and one internal, to see if Officer Phillip Barker followed CMPD policies and procedures.

Placing an officer on paid administrative leave while these investigations take place is standard procedure, the department said.

Barker was hired by CMPD on January 25, 2016. He was driving a marked Chevrolet Caprice patrol car on Morehead Street near Euclid Avenue, just south of uptown, at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday when he hit James Michael Short, 28.

Short was declared dead at the scene.

Short was enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College for the summer 2017 term, the school said Monday.

He was studying computer technology, and he had already registered for the fall semester. He also worked as an IT intern at CPCC.

Police say Short had been walking in the roadway. Barker was part of a team of officers responding to a different crash at the time.

Police also said the initial evidence shows that the officers had their lights and sirens on, the Observer’s news partner WBTV reported.

The last time a CMPD officer was involved in a fatal collision was March 2009, the department said Monday.

In that crash, Officer Martray Proctor hit a car driven by Shatona Robinson. Robinson, a 20-year-old retirement home worker, died at the scene.

Proctor pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to three years’ probation in 2009.

Investigators found that Proctor was speeding as fast as 111 mph in a 45 mph zone and did not have his siren on.

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