Toxicology report released for man fatally struck by CMPD officer

Toxicology report released for man fatally struck by CMPD officer
Barker (Mecklenburg County Jail)
Barker (Mecklenburg County Jail)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A toxicology report was released for the man who was struck and killed by a CMPD officer in uptown Charlotte in July 2017.

The report showed that 28-year-old James Michael Short. had a blood-alcohol level of .24, three times over the legal driving limit.

Short was struck and killed by Officer Phillip Barker, who was responding to a call.

Officer Barker, 24, was indicted by a grand jury for involuntary manslaughter, after he was initially charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Barker allegedly drove around 100 mph while responding to a call.

Court records show the grand jury returned the indictment in November.

As three CMPD patrol vehicles were heading to the scene, Barker struck Short who was crossing the road at Morehead Street near the intersection of Euclid Avenue.

MEDIC pronounced Short dead at the scene.

Speed was the primary factor in the crash, CMPD said. Chief Kerr Putney said Barker was responding to an emergency with his lights and siren on and had a green light but his speed was "excessive."

Putney said Officer Barker's action was "a mistake of the head, not the heart" adding the officer had " the right intentions" but cited his youth and inexperience. The department says Barker has been employed with CMPD since January 25, 2016.

Barker was going around 100 mph in a 35 mph zone on Morehead Street at the time of the fatal crash, Putney said.

Barker was placed on unpaid administrative leave and turned himself into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, CMPD said.

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