New Details In Push To Get CMPD To Release Full Body Cam Video

Charlotte, NC — WCCB Charlotte is asking CMPD to tell us who decided to edit down the department’s latest officer involved shooting body camera video and if the department has edited videos before.

You have only seen two minutes and 20 seconds of the body camera video showing Officer Wende Kerl shoot and kill Danquirs Franklin.

WCCB Charlotte’s Courtney Francisco is going through the legal process to find out why CMPD did not give you the full video.

“The video lasted approximately 11 minutes,” said City Council Member Larken Egleston.

North Carolina requires a judge to decide what videos you see.

Turns out, CMPD did not even give the judge the entire clip to review.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, CMPD is bound by law to answer our questions as media.

So, Courtney Francisco filed a formal request to CMPD Friday, requesting all emails, texts and documents related to the decision not to provide the judge the entire clip, related to who made the decision to edit the video and how many videos CMPD has edited since getting body cameras.

“We don’t need to make the decision what’s compliant with the law or what’s relevant to the case, to public interest. I think that’s better put in the hands of judge,” said Egelston.

Egleston confirms to me that CMPD played council the 11 minute version Monday.
We asked what’s on it.

“Given that the judge has not yet ruled on the release of the full video, I think it would be inappropriate for me to talk about what was on there as, seemingly, we were not supposed to see anything beyond what the public has seen,” said Egleston.

Lawmakers just filed a bill this week. So Courtney Francisco asked if it could restrict your access to police videos that your tax dollars pay for.

Rep. Kelly Alexander of Mecklenburg County is cosponsoring the new bill.

It ensures citizen review boards, city councils and commissioners have access to body camera video.
but members must sign confidentiality agreements.

“It doesn’t make it more difficult what it is does is open up direct access to two other categories, two other governmental related categories,” said Rep. Alexander.

Sen. Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg County says NC law is very strict when it comes to body camera video access.

“It’s very restrictive, one of the most restrictive in the nation,” said Sen. Jackson. “So, any attempt to broaden that criteria and allow more public access is a good thing.”