Cop Hits Pedestrian While Speeding On a Call.mp3

Charlotte at Six
Wednesday, July 12th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Some breaking news this afternoon from Charlotte police. A police officer a rookie arrested. And he's been charged with a misdemeanor death by vehicle officer Philip barker. It was the middle of the night on Saturday barker was in route to an accident on morehead street when he plowed into a pedestrian. Police chief curb Putney called reporters in this afternoon to explain one officer barker did wrong. When he reached the south side of the intersection of more it and you can imagine you. Is vehicle collided with mr. James Michael Short the front of his patrol vehicle struck mr. short. Detectives have determined that mr. short was crossing one foot at the intersection. Against a red light. The investigation also shows that officer pepper was traveling through the intersection. On a green light. The major issue that we have right now is our support who was traveling at approximately 100 miles. Per hour that's 100 miles an hour in a 35. Mile per hour zone. As we reported earlier this week CM PD believes speeding up to individual officers discretion. Those they're supposed to use good judgment based on public safety. In this case chief Putney says a young officer Philip barker disregarded public safety. Listen this is not easy. With the right thing to do. We always talk about accountability and to do for more than hold ourselves accountable. This isn't just a difficult. I just so you can make obviously professionally and personally. Our hearts and prayers go out to both the short in the war within hours. Things have been devastated today. This is a mistake they hit them out of the horror the officer had the right intentions. And sometimes use. What you do have the experience. You have the knowledge you have the time. Markers only about a cop a year and a half he was just passed his probationary period so he was new patrolling by himself. New to making fast decisions and an emergency. When we make mistakes of the period based on lack of experience. In just want to do the right thing and had been. And exuberance enough. I'm just over energetic approach to doing it. Sometimes you have tragic consequences and that's what happened here it's just a difficult situation because before. His grace anybody could make a mistake like this as a young officer. And god this is pretty steady stiff penalty to have to pay for such a surge must make this the right thing to do it. Still plenty of questions about police discretion in driving. The state Court of Appeals has ruled police can speed when pursuing criminals are when life is in danger. That apparently was not the case Saturday morning. And even though the man who was killed should not have been crossing against a red light. There's no question the chief says officer barker was disregarding public safety going 100 miles an hour to an accident scene from the. Growing evidence here was that aren't even of all the mitigating factors. We can overcome the speed in the regard for the senate cops we've got to continue to make our communities safe you you cannot. Gets narrowly focused on trying to do the right thing. Can you put others people's lives and health injured. Now again officers here in North Carolina have a lot of discretion in speeding. Those state law seems to indicate cops should not speed when going to Rex. Now I checked with the Highway Patrol and got their policy it clearly says. Officers shall not exceed the posted speed limit when traveling to an accident scene unless there's imminent danger to human life for public safety. CM PDA's policy is not even that's specific. Now chief funding is indicated he will be talking by the officers about this issue in the days ahead. And he said officer barker could end up facing felony charges if the district attorney decides to bump the charge even higher. Going 100 miles an hour and a 35 zone just answering a call for an accident.