A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who was involved in a crash that killed a pedestrian Saturday has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Officer Phillip Barker, 24, was driving his patrol vehicle at 100 mph in a 35 mph zone when he struck and killed 28-year-old James Michael Short, police said.

The crash happened Saturday at 3:20 a.m. Police said Barker was driving a marked Chevrolet Caprice patrol car when he hit Short. Barker was responding to a different crash at the time with a team of other officers, police said. Short was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police Chief Kerr Putney told the Charlotte Observer speed was the determining factor in charging Barker. Putney said Barker had his sirens and lights on, and was traveling through a green light. The chief said officers are allowed to speed when their lights are on, but they have to do so with regard for the safety of others.


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