NC officer charged in crash that killed man, accused of going 100 mph in 35 mph zone

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — An on duty Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who struck and killed a man in uptown Charlotte Saturday morning has been charged in the man’s death Wednesday.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Officer Phillip Barker, 24, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle in connection with the death of 28-year-old James Michael Short.


On Saturday morning, three marked police Charlotte-Mecklenburg police cruisers were responding to a crash around 3:20 a.m. where a vehicle had struck a building in the 800 block of East Stonewall Street.

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

MEDIC pronounced Short dead on the scene.

Speed was the primary factor in the crash, CMPD tweeted. Police Chief Kerr Putney said Barker was responding to an emergency but his speed was “excessive.”

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

Putney released this statement Wednesday:

Policing is a difficult profession, carried out by regular people who like others sometimes make mistakes and poor decisions. Tragically, our poor decisions can have grave consequences. When we in law enforcement violate the law, we must hold ourselves accountable, just as we would anyone else. My thoughts and prayers are with both the Short and Barker families.

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


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