Nearly 200 people gathered outside the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Saturday afternoon in memory of James Dudley Barker, who was shot and killed last Thursday by a police officer after he attacked and injured the officer with a shovel.
The group Utah Against Police Brutality called for the protest to answer questions about officer training as it relates to restraint and de-escalation and ask for an external investigation of the shooting.
Friday evening police released body-cam footage of the encounter between Barker and the officer, who responded to 3rd Avenue and I Street after a concerned neighbor called police concerned about the actions of Barker.
The 90-second video clip does show a conversation between the responding officer, who police have not identified, and Barker. The officer tries to ascertain what Barker is doing in the neighborhood. Barker says he's there to do snow removal, yet there is little snow in the neighborhood and a concerned caller questioned why he was going door to door. Barker gets increasingly agitated and at one point begins screaming at the officer.
The video clip shows Barker striking the officer with a snow shovel, sending him to the ground, disabling the body camera and injuring the officer, who suffered fractured bones in an arm and in a foot. The officer then fires his gun, killing Barker, the fatal moment not caught on the now broken camera, police said.
Ian Adams, spokesman for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police and a West Jordan police officer, told KSL TV the video is a clear example of an officer "doing his job."
"Officers have a job to do, and frankly the amount of victim blaming on the officer is ridiculous and doesn't leave much air in the room for a rational discussion," Adams said. "That officer did nothing to provoke such an aggravated assault."