A North Carolina police chief says video footage released shows a man fatally shot by an officer was armed. (April 15)
Police released video Monday showing an officer in North Carolina fatally shooting an armed man who didn’t point his gun at police.
The body camera footage shows two officers approaching 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin in a Burger King parking lot on March 25 after two callers reported a man with a gun.
Police repeatedly yell at Franklin to put down his gun as he squats at the open door of a car, facing an unidentified person in the passenger seat. He doesn’t move as officers approach him, the video shows.
“Sir, put the gun down,” says the officer wearing the body camera, identified by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police as Wende Kerl. “Drop the gun!”
At one point, police shout to a woman walking up to Franklin to get out of the way. As they keep yelling commands, he raises his right hand with an object in it, still facing the passenger seat.
When Franklin lowers his right hand, the first of two shots Kerl fires ring out in the video, about 40 seconds after she exited her cruiser.
After Franklin rolls to his side, the person in the passenger seat shows their hands on the dashboard at the officer’s command, the video shows.
Kerl then reaches under Franklin’s body and picks up the handgun, saying “I gotta pick up the gun” before the released video ends.
Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP chapter, said Kerl “didn’t view Danquirs Franklin as a man, but saw him as a danger.”
“This female officer shot this man while he was adhering to her commands,” Mack said.
Kerl, who has worked for the department since 1995, is on administrative leave.
Charlotte leaders urged people to protest peacefully at a press conference before the video’s release, which was petitioned for by multiple media organizations.
“It is in moments like this that we can open for a discussion and discourse. We can talk about what’s on that video,” Mayor Vi Lyles said. “But what I always think about is how we respond as a community will reflect how we honor the memory of Danquirs Franklin.”
Police Chief Kerr Putney said the video shows that Franklin refused to drop his weapon and an officer fired after perceiving a deadly threat.
About four minutes before police arrived at the scene, one of the two 911 callers said an armed man entered the fast food restaurant and tried to start a fight with employees.
“Can you please send somebody quickly? Please. He got a gun. … He’s pointing it,” she said in the recording released by police.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Homicide Unit is investigating the incident. The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office will review the evidence after, the department said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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