Police Abuse

New Video of Salt Lake Police Shooting Appears to Contradict Official Account

Police reform advocates say video shows cop shooting man while he's lying on the ground

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via Fox 13

Just over a year ago, Officer Matthew Taylor of the Salt Lake City Police Department shot and killed James Barker after someone called to report Barker as a "suspicious person" for going door-to-door with a shovel offering to remove snow even though there was not much snow on the ground.

Taylor engaged Barker over his actions, and an argument ensued after Barker refused to provide his name to Taylor, telling him he was just doing his business, and, according to police, began to menace Taylor with the shovel before Taylor shot and killed him. Less than two months later, the district attorney found the fatal shooting legally justified, based on testimony from Taylor, his body camera, and interviews with witnesses.

But Taylor's body camera shut off before the shooting and now new video footage appears to show the officer shooting and killing Barker after he had been handcuffed and placed on the ground. William Lawrence a former sheriff who is now a prominent police reform advocate in Utah, and other activists met with the district attorney after the new video was released, asking him to re-open the case. Lawrence also claims that Taylor shut off his body camera manually, saying the presence of a beep on the audio track seconds before the end of the body cam footage means as much.

After meeting with Lawrence, the district attorney, Sam Gill, told the press he would re-examine the case against Taylor. He also said Taylor had been placed on administrative leave.

A 2014 review of data found residents of Utah are more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a drug dealer, gang member, or an abusive parent.

Watch the new video below:

h/t Stanton S.

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  1. Like it’s news that the video contradicts the officers’ account. Next comes the “Video doesn’t tell the whole story” comment from the union.

    1. Totality of the motherfuckin’ circs.

    2. “In a shocking story today, a body camera actually matches the description in a police report. Film at 11.”

      1. That would be far more newsworthy at this point.

  2. Possibly the sound of a nail gun being used in the area. And surely the medical examiners know the difference between being shot in the front and in the back.

    I’ll reserve judgment here.

    1. If the ‘proof’ is those 2 pops at the very beginning of the video I’m not convinced, seems to me at 19 sec. there are two more pops and the officer is clearly not shooting at that time.

      1. Why do you not want to recognize that those pops could simply be another cop, off camera, shooting another handcuffed and probe suspect.

        1. …handcuffed and probe suspect.

          Cops are into some kinky shit.

  3. “Lawrence also claims that Taylor shut off his body camera manually, saying the presence of a beep on the audio track seconds before the end of the body cam footage means as much.”

    A jury might think that suggests premeditation.

    1. Why would you make a body camera that can be turned off if the goal was to …

      Oh, I get it.

    2. A jury might think that suggests premeditation.

      Right up until the stare down they receive from the seventy uniformed officers in the courtroom that are. Idiot taking notes while looking.

      1. TS8000 arrived. Got 3 cans propane, 1 can MAPpro.

        When all you have is a hammer, everything looks flammable.

    3. A beep on the audio track doesn’t mean Taylor shut off his body camera manually – the beep just means the camera shut off. If it wasn’t a malfunction (quite common, and quite commonly an irreproducible malfunction), it was almost certainly the case that inadvertent physical contact caused the camera to shut down.

      The officer feared for his life obviously (the fact that lethal force was deployed against the perp proves that) so who can blame him if, in this moment of mortal peril, he mis-remembered whether handcuffs were utilized before or after the perp was impacted by the utilization of lethal force, whether the perp assumed a horizontal attitude before or after said utilization, or whether the aforementioned utilization occurred in response to being attacked or in response to the anticipation of being attacked? Just because an officer pre-emptively defends himself against an attack and thereby prevents the attack from occurring doesn’t mean the attack didn’t even exist, it just means the police officer is really, really good at defending himself.

      Remember that police officers are specifically trained to identify – and to respond to – threats that mere mortals with their inferior perceptive skills are unable to detect. Where you might see a wallet in somebody’s hand, a police officer sees a lethal ninja throwing weapon. Where you see nothing at all, a stealth-cloaked lethal ninja throwing weapon, far more sinister and deadly than the visible kind.

      1. Did you copy that word for word from a comment on PoliceOne?

      2. Jesus Christ. Are you a cop union rep or a cop union attorney?

        1. I detect some sarcasm, unless you think OP really believes cops see ninja throwing weapons where others see wallets.

          1. I’ve seen Jerryskids post on here for some time. I know it’s sarcasm.

            Lurk Moar!

      3. You forgot the /sarc tag. The lack confuses the rubes.

        1. Don’t harsh my mellow, dude. Sloopy suggested my amateur-grade bullflop could easily be mistaken for professional-grade, and I’m taking that as a sincere compliment. I feel good.

  4. It’s hard to see what’s happening in the video. Is the blue blob on the ground Barker? I honestly can’t tell. I’m assuming the two guys in black are cops, the first one being Taylor and the other one who shows up later is backup (because it takes two cops to fabricate a plausible enough story, I guess). I guess what I’m saying, if I’m saying anything, is I fucking hate it when people hold their phones the wrong way to record video. HOLD IT SIDEWAYS, DUMBASS!

    1. Hold it sideways and press it up against the friggin’ glass pane to keep the video from bouncing around so much.

    2. Like a sequel to the Blair Witch Project with NauseaVision!

      1. The Bourne Police Shooting

        Now with extra shaky cam!

      1. Best.

  5. Body camera progess! Wooo! In a just world the officer would at least lose his job for this.

  6. I’ll have to rely on the accounts of people on here.I can’t watch another shooting video.

    1. I can’t figure out what’s going on. Dude already looks dead at the beginning of the video, and backup is on the way.

  7. I watched the first episode of Making a Murder yesterday, seemed preferable to the MN game.
    Holy shit was I pissed. AND THIS WAS JUST THE INTRODUCTION. I don’t think I can watch 9 more episodes. My TV wont be able to take the repeated strikes from coffee mugs and wine bottles.

    1. As a Packer fan, I liked the MN game. 😉

    2. I keep going back and forth on the idea of watching it. Documentaries are just somebody telling you a story they believe and want you to believe is the unvarnished truth. But the “truth” of the documentary (as I understand it) isn’t to examine whether or not the guy is guilty, it’s to examine the process whereby the state reaches a conclusion as to guilt. And that point has been largely mangled in the exact way the film-makers critique the process – nobody gives a shit if procedures are followed as long as they agree with the result. All the flap seems to be over whether or not the guy is guilty rather than “how do you know he’s guilty”? If he’s guilty, well, fuck him and his “fair trial” bullshit. He deserves whatever he gets. If he’s not guilty, well then, okay, we can look to see where the system broke down. All this is being treated as “one isolated incident” when this is simply opening your eyes to how the system really works. His previous wrongful conviction on the rape wasn’t an example of the system breaking down, it was the system working just the way it works. Most of the time it’s the right pig getting fed into the grinder so nobody looks too closely and realizes that it really doesn’t matter what gets fed into the grinder, it’s all coming out sausage on the other end.

  8. Really hard to tell what happened.

    My question is this: if the officer killed him in self-defense, why would he handcuff him? Who handcuffs a corpse?

    Of course, this begs the question of whether the victim was handcuffed or not. Was he?

    Also, was he shot in the front or in the back?

    1. Who handcuffs a corpse?

      Experienced vampire hunters, that’s who.

    2. It’s a common practice, at least when this has come up in the past. Cuff the perp while he’s bleeding out. As far as I can tell, holding paramedics at bay while the perp exsanguinates is left at the officer’s discretion.

      1. And it’s hard to get more discrete than “dead perps tell no tales that contradict the officer’s version of events.”

      2. Cuff the perp while he’s bleeding out.

        He might have consumed PCP, bath salts or flakka, which are known to give people superhuman strength. And shooting people with superhuman strength only makes them more dangerous.

    3. why would he handcuff him? Who handcuffs a corpse?

      I thought was SOP after shooting someone now. I guess in case they come back as a walker? I don’t really get why either. If I was cynical, I’d speculate that they do that for all shootings to make it harder to tell after the fact whether they were really defending themselves or summarily executing a handcuffed man. If I were cynical…

      1. Dead people don’t testify.

    4. It should be trivial to a competent ME. We should see close range shots from the back, with a possible ricochet from the front. Burns to his coat should be obvious. If ANY of that evidence exists this should be an open and shut case with the video and witness accounts. But what WILL happen is nothing.

        1. awesome

    5. My question is this: if the officer killed him in self-defense, why would he handcuff him? Who handcuffs a corpse?

      The police. Skip ahead to 1:57. Observer a group of five to six police officers hiding, yes, literally HIDING behind an electrical box, pointing guns at the corpse, waiting for more officers. Then observe as many as ten, yes TEN officers manhandling the dead body and cuffing it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnKLEOXenow

      1. I had conveniently forgotten about that YOU PRICK!

        While I love Balko, I am not sure I miss him.

      2. I had conveniently forgotten about that YOU PRICK!

        While I love Balko, I am not sure I miss him.

  9. New Video of Salt Lake Police Shooting Appears to Contradict Official Account

    Don’t they all?

    But Taylor’s body camera shut off before the shooting and now new video footage appears to show the officer shooting and killing Barker after he had been handcuffed and placed on the ground.

    The state legislature should move quickly to ban surveillance cameras from homes and businesses so they stop embarrassing the police and the district attorney with video that contradict their fables.

    1. Aesop approves!

  10. But was he furtively lying on the ground?

    1. He was lying on the ground in a threatening manner!

    2. “He had assumed a belligerent, prone position – I feared for my safety”

  11. “Where White People Shoot”

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