Soap Box: Oct. 4-9 | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

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Soap Box: Oct. 4-9

Reactions to SLCPD officer's body-cam video of fatal shooting of Patrick Harmon.


Patrick Harmon
  • Patrick Harmon

Blog post, Oct. 4, "Patrick Harmon Body Cam Video Released"
This is very questionable. ... I'm for all lives matter, and this one appears to be unjustified to me. And if shooting needed to happen, is it protocol to shoot three times at a running assailant? Is there no protocol to take them down, rather than out? I'm just an unaware citizen, asking serious questions here. I don't know law enforcement standards and procedures.
Lisa Streno Wenninger

Poor man. Period. His death was not justified. Excessive force was clearly used. Reminds me of an incident when a man's home was invaded, he grabbed a bat and chased the would-be robber from his home. Outside of his home he caught the robber, swung the bat, striking the robbers head, killing him instantly. This man was charged with first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to over 20 years in prison. Why? Because the would-be robber was running away, no longer posing a threat. Pure and simple.
Rohnda Delpino Cox

Wait. What?! The body-cam video doesn't support the DA's statement: As he ran he turned toward police officers with a knife and said, "I'll cut you." Where's the coverage of this murder?
Via Twitter

"Threatened with a knife"? What a joke. In what, the 3.9 seconds he was running away before he was shot in the back? The threat came then?
Via Twitter

I spent 28 years in law enforcement and this does NOT look like a good shooting. If an officer is so quick to shoot someone for fleeing, he has no business being in law enforcement. Furthermore, this shooting should land him in jail. I surely wouldn't have wanted a partner like that.
Leslie James
Via Facebook

The discharge of firearm is for the response to an immediate threat to the health and well-being of either the officer or third-party. This satisfies neither of these scenarios. It was murder.
Cody Salyer
Via Facebook

I watched the show Cops all my life and waited for the suspect to run. That made the show! But I never saw them shoot a runner in the back or side. Is this a new thing, or a lazy cop thing? Or is it an "I need some paid time off" thing?
Adrian Thomas
Via Facebook

Hey, just a suggestion to the author of this post: Perhaps a more detailed explanation would help. I saw this as police shooting and killing another black man. I was outraged. I shared it online. Turns out they had been looking for this man after he [pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault]? More information instead of a video would assist your viewers in not spreading the hysteria and having a better understanding of what's happening. Justified or not—we should have context
Amanda Roman
Via Facebook

You can't catch him so you kill him?! This is murder. Some will say, "Well, if he had just done what they asked, he would have been fine." But the police are not judge, jury and executioner. We have a legal system and due process of law for a constitutional reason. This abuse of power flies in the face of that and we should all be outraged.
Ryan Creek
Via Facebook

Every single African-American in the U.S. has a legitimate reason to run from the cops. They know that they have a good chance of being murdered once in contact with the police—it may be their only chance of survival. It's a basic fight-or-flight instinct. Didn't Massachusetts even propose legislation to make it legal for non-whites to legally flee police officers?
Kara Go Sounders
Via Facebook

And this is why we kneel! How can we show respect to America when America refuses to show respect to the rights we as people deserve? Respect is earned, not forced! Whether this guy was guilty or innocent, he still deserved his rights to a proper arrest. We just want equality and for police to properly do their jobs: "protect and serve."
Courtney Jacquet
Via Facebook

He wasn't unarmed; he reached for a knife in his waistband and lunged at the officers, then fled. Totally justified! Don't jump to conclusions! Do your research before you spread lies. When he is lying on the ground, the knife is between his legs. If you freeze stop the video you can see him turn with the knife in hand as he attempts to assault the officers. He then turns to run and is shot. There are videos out there showing this and the knife.
Jim Bucsko

If he had a knife or not—clearly his goddamn back was turned!
Niecy Davis
Via Facebook

Warrants or not, threats or not, to shoot a man in the back is an execution, period.
Jay Ramshanka

Handcuffing him instead of performing first-aid! Good job, boys. ...
Justin Durfee
Via Facebook

I guess no one watched the video? He shot him in the side as he was turning toward him. Not in the back. And guess what? Cops always have to handcuff the suspects even if they are dead, dying or unharmed. That is their protocol. I love how people are more willing to stand up for criminals over cops. Guess who doesn't get shot by cops? People not breaking the law.
Hunter Carlson
Via Facebook

I know people will not like me this but THIS is why we protest. Has nothing to do with the flag, anthem or military. If they tased him no one would have really had a problem with this. The use of lethal force was not warranted. It's sad when a flag or an anthem means more than a black person's life. And this is from me, a two-time Iraqi War Veteran that is 100 percent totally and permanently disabled.
Tyrone Waklatsi
Via Facebook

Kudos to you guys. Every comment I read from a white person on this thread said this act is wrong. As a black man, I never know what to expect from the comments section when things like this are posted, but it's often filled with hate that I have to jump in and counter. I'm happy for once I don't have to comment because you guys spoke truth. Thanks again.
Jay Mayor Martin
Via Facebook

Looks like the de-escalation and sensitivity training worked well, Mayor Jackie Biskupski. A cop can shoot a man running away? There has to be more to this video. They shot him because he had a knife, running away from them. Starting to not feel safe in this city. It's sad. Every week the cops are killing someone in Salt Lake. Last week your goons get beat up by a guy with their own weapons then kill him, and now this. Yeah, that training is going really well. Keep up the good work, mayor!
Josh Johnston
Via Facebook

I can't believe how many people are calling for justice here. The dude was a convicted felon for aggravated assault. He had a knife in his right hand with the blade exposed and was turning toward the cop about 5 feet from him. Had the cop hesitated at all, he would have been stabbed. But keep sitting in your chair at work and sleeping safe at home, judging officers, while cops are out fighting convicted felons that would rob or assault you.
Austin Harris,
Via Facebook

We have every right to judge officers. We, the taxpayers, pay them to do their jobs, which is to protect and serve. Which, most do, but this one did not. ... They work for us. They are employed by us. Cops aren't lawyers or judges or the courts; they are public servants. They are the taxpayers' employees—you better believe that we have a right to judge them.
Susan Coleman Cohen,
Via Facebook

I've watched this video twice now. I didn't see a knife at all. Furthermore, if there is one, why is it not being secured or being talked about being secured? There is no knife. He also didn't need to shoot three rounds at point-blank. One would have sufficed. Not to mention there are three able-bodied officers that could have tripped that dude down. He shouldn't have ran. But you can tell he is very scared. This could have been handled very differently. I lived in Utah for 25 years before moving to New Zealand. Cops in Utah could learn a great deal living in another city or even country for while. Then maybe learn some compassion for the offenders. Shit needs to be innocent until proven guilty. Not the other way around.
Steven Yeiter,
Via Facebook

Body cameras certainly are not perfect, and this video certainly is cause for concern, however I would encourage everyone in the feed to become acquainted with the facts. ...It is impossible to tell from the video what he had in his hand, which is why photos were also released by the district attorney's office. Mr. Harmon had a knife, he turned to address the officers, and the officer responded with deadly force.I am sorry for Mr. Harmon's family, however, his actions caused this, not the officer.
Michael Hollen,
Via Facebook


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