Home News Body-cam shows officer being attacked before fatal shooting

Body-cam shows officer being attacked before fatal shooting


By Brett Gillin

Another round of police protests, this time in Salt Lake City Utah, decrying that police could have done more to prevent a man’s death after he was fatally shot by a police officer. This time, however, there is vivid evidence of the altercation between the man and as-yet unidentified officer. The footage shows the man clearly getting aggressive toward the officer before violently swinging his shovel and making contact.

According to KSL.com, police released the officer’s body-cam footage on Friday. In that footage, you can see the officer arriving at the scene and questioning James Dudley Barker. When the officer lets Barker know that he has received several calls about a suspicious man in the area matching Barker’s description, Barker tells him he’s trying to drum up some business for his snow-shoveling job.

The officer tells Barker that because there is no snow on the driveways in the area, and the weather is warming up, his presence in the neighborhood is causing concern among the residents. Barker tries to explain that he’s trying to secure future business, but the officer counters that witnesses have another story.

Barker also refuses to cooperate with the officer when he asks for his name. The officer calmly states that it is the law to give up his name when there is an ongoing investigation, but Barker continues to refuse. The officer asks if he has a license, which Barker confirms, but he still refuses to give his name to the officer.

Things begin to get tense after Barker begins screaming, “I’m trying to make a living. I’m doing my business.” The officer calls for backup before trying to calm Barker down. The body cam footage seems to show the officer reaching out toward Barker, who then becomes extremely agitated.

“You can’t get in my face, man!” Barker screamed. Then, he made what would turn out to be a fatal mistake. Barker turns, pulls back his snow shovel, and swings it at the officer. The shovel hits the officer with such force as to send him tumbling off the front porch. As the body cam is facing the sky, Barker lands another blow with the shovel, this one breaking the body cam.

Seconds later, the officer shot and killed Barker. The officer suffered several broken bones in the altercation.

“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,” Ian Adams, spokesman for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police told reporters with KSL. “That officer did nothing to provoke such an aggravated assault.”

Despite the footage clearly showing the aggressive actions Barker took and the violence he committed against a police officer, protests have popped up around Utah. The protestors claim that the officer should have walked away or tried something different. While the officer has been put on administrative leave pending the conclusion of an investigation, it does not seem he will face discipline for the shooting thanks to the body cam footage.

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  1. Just shows how stupid people are. The problem is people like that guy that said the police officer should have walked away. It’s idiots like him that are getting people killed. A police officer does NOT have the luxury to walk or run away. Their duty is to keep crazes like this from getting to the public.
    The more that guy was questioned the madder he got because he didn’t have the correct answers. So for him his last resort was to threaten and when that didn’t intimidate the officer and he was about to be placed under restraint, he attacked. Maybe people don’t realize what the rules really are? Just because some kid makes up some organization doesn’t mean he or his organization knows what they are talking about. The more those people tell others what the police CAN’T do, the more people will be shot for attacking officers.

  2. Anyone could see the man had mental health issues so why did he push him is my question too? He should have waited for the backup, I agree with that point also! As this man was not in the right state of mind and I could see that immediately. So why couldn’t the officer see this and wait? The officer put himself at risk in my eyes by putting his hands on someone who anyone could see was ready to explode!

    • Because this officer has a duty to protect the public. Had he walked away from this individual that was agitated as he was and wait til back up to arrive and this person walked in his house and grabbed a gun and started shooting at everyone and in sent people were shot. You would be crying why did this officer walk away and this wouldn’t happen. The bottom line is you were not at this situation at the time nor you probably never have been in a high stressful situation in your life before to judge someone else how they handled the situation. You can train for it but reality is you don’t know what your going to do til it happens and you have to make quick decision to protect yourself and others.

  3. Anyone who puts that uniform on everyday – wears that badge, carries that gun, they deal with people like this EVERY DAY. For someone to come up and say, oh he could have easily walked away and waited for backup is ignorant and has no idea what the rules and regulations are as a police officer.

    The officer clearly did not SHOVE this man – putting his hand out in a defensive pose to stop the man who is RAISING A SHOVEL at him to stop. This left-winged protesters are ignorant. Did this man deserve to die? No – it’s an unfortunate situation. To say you can see he was not in the right state of mind and how could the officer not see that? Is blatantly ignorant – unless you’ve worn that uniform, walked those streets and have done that job? You have NO Idea what that officer is experiencing – no idea.

    We support our troops – have magnets on our cars for them fighting the fight in another country – well how about the men and woman keeping us safe at home? Every day – wearing the same uniform, just a different color.

  4. The cop never shoved the man, he simply reached for the weapon to disarm him… I love the “He pushed him therefore he was justified in beating the officer and breaking his bones, obviously.”

  5. It looks to me that the man was acting in self defence because it was the police officer who did not fall back on his crisis prevention training and give him a little bit of space. Instead, the officer lunged towards him. Causing the man to react in a way that really could have been prevented. But then “use of force” dictates that the officer could have shot him. I personally ,would have tasted him.