SALT LAKE CITY — Several dozen protesters stood outside Salt Lake police headquarters Saturday to demand the release of body-camera footage showing officers' actions in the fatal shooting of 50-year-old Patrick Harmon last month.
Among the 50-plus gathered at the Public Safety Building to make that demand were Harmon's family members, who drove from St. Louis to attend the rally and seek answers about the man's death, arriving early Saturday morning.
"It's hard because we just don't know what happened," Harmon's sister, Antionette Harmon, told reporters tearfully.
Patrick Harmon was approached by police Aug. 13 while on foot near 1050 S. State. Three officers were talking to Harmon when he pulled out a weapon, and one of the officers shot him, according to police.
Harmon was wanted on multiple arrest warrants, including a felony warrant, Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown said in August. Details about what type of weapon Harmon allegedly pulled out, where he was hit by the gunfire, or how many shots were fired have so far not been released.
All three officers at the scene had their body cameras activated, according to Brown. However, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has said bodycam footage from the shooting is not expected to be released until he reviews an investigation into the incident by Unified police and can determine whether the actions were legally justified.
"It's our footage. It's not theirs to negotiate with," Jacob Jensen, an organizer with Utah Against Police Brutality, told protesters to cheers. "It should be released today. It should be released yesterday. It should be released immediately."
Jensen and organizers from Black Lives Matter led chants of "The footage! Release it!" and, "Who's footage is that? Ours!"
Protester Kaneischa Johnson told the group that the video not being released makes her suspicious that "there is something to hide," and she won't believe any official explanation "until I see it with my own eyes."
"We're going to have more rallies for Patrick Harmon," Jensen told the crowd. "We're going to get that footage released."
Harmon's niece, Michelle Shaw, thanked protesters for demanding more information about the shooting. Shaw said her brother wasn't perfect, but he "did not deserve his life taken."
"He was loved," she said. "We love you for loving Patrick. We love Patrick, and we know he's in heaven."
Antionette Harmon said she is disheartened and angry that she doesn't have more information about her brother's death.
"I don't know how many times police shot him. I want to know that. I want to see footage," she told reporters.
Last month, Brown said he didn't have all the details of the shooting because it was being investigated by an outside agency. "Sometimes we have to use deadly force in the course of what we had hoped would be a routine stop," he said at the time.
"We want our officer to know we stand behind him. We love him," Brown said then. "It's always hard and difficult when there's a loss of life."
Harmon's criminal history in Utah dates back more than a decade and includes robbery, burglary and assault cases, according to court records.