Newly released video shows the moments before the fatal shooting of Danquirs Franklin on March 25 in the parking lot of a Burger King in west Charlotte.
Body camera footage shows Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Wende Kerl arrive at the scene as Franklin is crouched in the passenger doorway of a Honda sedan. She and another officer are heard repeating instructions for Franklin to drop a gun that isn’t visible for much of the video. However, Franklin then reached his hand toward his right side and pulled out a gun–not pointed at anyone. It looked as if Franklin was lowering the weapon when the video shows Kerl firing two shots.
Franklin slowly slumps to the ground, and Kerl walks over to the body and picks up the gun. The video then cuts off.
City leaders try to get ahead of public reaction
Last Thursday, a Mecklenburg County judge ordered that the bodycam video be released on Monday. CMPD didn’t object to the release, but the District Attorney’s office and Officer Kerl’s attorney did.
On Monday morning, Mayor Vi Lyles, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney and City Council member Braxton Winston spoke at a news conference ahead of the video’s release.
Lyles said she hadn’t seen the video but knew what was on it.
“It shows the instant where a mother lost her son, children lost their father, and a young man had his life end much too soon,” she said.
Chief Putney had seen the footage, and a member of the media asked his opinion of it.
“I don’t really have an opinion of it. I can tell you my response to it. It’s like a punch to the gut. It’s hard to watch. It’s hard to see because a life’s been lost. It’s like any other time you see somebody lose their life,” Putney said. “I hope you’ll do what we’re doing and pray for Ms. Franklin and her family. Pray for our officers whose lives have been destroyed as well. Come together as a community. Be heard, but be lawful.”
Lyles noted that the City will host six listening sessions across the community. In addition, CMPD will once again hold community conversations where Chief Putney will address the audience and respond to questions. A previous meeting at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church put the police chief in front of angry residents who wanted more accountability from the department as well as supporters who wanted to collaborate so incidents like Franklin’s case don’t happen again.
Let’s Talk with Chief Kerr Putney
Tuesday, April 16
6:30 – 8 p.m.
East Stonewall AME Zion Church, 1729 Griers Grove Road
Wednesday, April 17
Little Rock AME Zion Church, 401 N. McDowell Street
Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.