GPS should tell how fast CMPD officer was traveling when he hit, killed pedestrian

Updated: Jul. 11, 2017 at 6:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Investigators with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will check the GPS in the patrol car to see how fast an officer was driving when he hit and killed a pedestrian just before 3:30 Saturday morning on Morehead Street.

Detectives also have evidence from the crash scene that will help determine speed.

The officer involved in the crash, Phillip Barker, was scheduled to meet with investigators on Tuesday. His defense attorney, Michael Green, declined to answer questions.

Police say three patrol cars were driving on Morehead Street responding to a call for collision with injuries after a vehicle struck a building on E. Stonewall Street.

RELATED: Charlotte officer placed on administrative leave after fatally striking pedestrian

Police say the cruiser being driven by Officer Barker hit 28-year-old James Michael Short. Medics say Short died at the scene. CMPD has not said if investigators have determined where Short was going, or whether he was trying to cross the street.

Short's relatives, who are in Anson County, declined to speak.

A police source says Barker had activated his emergency lights and siren, and he had a green light in the traffic signal. A police source says the officer was driving fast - the question is, how fast?

Department leaders have to decide if it's a "reasonable and prudent" speed considering road conditions, and the fact he was responding to call.

The speed limit where the crash occurred at Morehead near Euclid is 35 miles an hour.

CMPD says a criminal and internal affairs investigation is happening simultaneously. The criminal investigation is focusing on whether any traffic laws were broken.

Internal Affairs will see if any CMPD policies were violated - whether Officer Barker used excessive speed, or if he was driving reasonably.

WBTV has learned that police are also checking the GPS data to see if the officer has a tendency to drive fast.

CMPD says Barker, who is on routine administrative leave because of the crash, has no history of disciplinary action with the department.

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