North Carolina police officer charged in pedestrian's death

Charlotte Police investigate the death of a pedestrian who was hit by a police car. (WSOC)

A North Carolina police officer is charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle after he struck and killed a pedestrian while responding to a call at speeds that officials said reached around 100 mph.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told reporters Wednesday that 24-year-old Officer Phillip Barker was placed on administrative leave without pay in light of the charge.

Police spokesman Andrew Harris said last weekend that 28-year-old James Short was hit as he tried to cross a street near uptown Charlotte around 3:20 a.m. Saturday.

Harris said Barker's cruiser was one of three patrol cars responding to a car that crashed into a building.

Putney said Barker's car reached speeds of around 100 mph. He said speed was the compelling factor in the difficult decision to charge Barker.

According to WSOC-TV, Short was a student at Central Piedmont Community College in the computer technology program.

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