Judge Approves Release Of Full CMPD Body Cam Video From Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting
On Wednesday, the public will get to see more of the body camera video of a deadly officer-involved shooting in northwest Charlotte.
We’ve seen two-minutes and 20-seconds involving the shooting of Danquirs Franklin. A judge has now ordered CMPD to release the entire 11 minute video.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney testified under oath that he was the final decision maker, based on recommendations, to release 2-minutes and 20-second shortened video. It showed Officer Wende Kerl shoot and kill Danquirs Franklin outside a Burger King on Beatties Ford Road on March 25th.
CMPD showed Mayor Vi Lyles and the Charlotte City Council all 11 minutes the same day the shortened video was made public.
Putney told a Superior Court Judge he had concerns. When City Manager, Marcus Jones, and he discussed showing the full body camera video to Charlotte City Council members and the Mayor.
“The city attorney had assured him that it was indeed okay to do,” said Chief Putney.
The hearing was to determine if CMPD violated an April 11th court order, by not releasing the entire body camera video.
The Assistant City Attorney says CMPD didn’t give the full video to the judge based on how they interpreted the original request.
“In terms of judicial efficiency with CMPD’s practice, review those videos and submit what was relevant based on the specific wording of each petition,” says Assistant City Attorney Jessica Battle.
Judge Lisa Bell determined CMPD was not in contempt of court, saying the video was “disclosed” to them and not “released”.
The judge says the full 11 minute video will be released Wednesday at 5pm to petitioners and the public. Certain parts will need to be edited, the judge says, including the blurring of any civilian faces and the screen of Officer Kerl’s phone.
Stay with WCCB for full coverage, and to view the full body camera video once it is released Wednesday afternoon.
Original Story (April 22, 2019):
Charlotte, NC — Tuesday, a judge will decide if CMPD must release the entire body camera footage showing Officer Wende Kerl shoot and kill Danquirs Franklin outside a Burger King in Northwest Charlotte.
CMPD shortened the body camera video when presenting it to the judge to decide if the public should see it.
We may have never know, but someone at CMPD showed City Council an 11 minute video clip before releasing a two minute 20 second clip to the public.
“How did city council get the 11 minutes instead of the two minutes?” said Robert Dawkins. “Why did you feel the need to have to show it to city council?”
Dawkins is part of SAFE Coalition NC. It’s a police accountability group.
Council members think CMPD made a mistake when it showed them the longer video of Officer Kerl killing Franklin on March 25.
WCCB Charlotte asked who decided to show you before the public.
“I’m not sure who made that decision, and we don’t yet know how that mistake was made that we were seeing more than the public and the media were about to get,” said Council Member Larken Egleston.
Council says they saw it in two groups not large enough to require a public meeting.
“We’ve got to continue to try to be better about erring on the side of openness,” said Egleston.
CMPD acknowledges it received the legal request WCCB Charlotte filed Friday to find out who decided to give a shortened clip of the body camera video to the judge. That judge was deciding whether to make the video public.
To review that report, click here.
CMPD had not answered by Monday night, April 22.
Under North Carolina’s public record law, WCCB Charlotte was able to obtain the personnel files on each officer on the scene of this shooting, and in those you can see the disciplinary records.
Officer Kerl’s records list a one day suspension for a complaint in 1999.
CMPD suspended Officer Larry Deal three times in the past 12 years.
The most recent was on April 5, 2019 for an incident that happened in February 2019.
CMPD would not say what any of the suspensions relate to only that they do not relate to the Franklin shooting.
CMPD says moving forward, it will provide all body camera video to a judge so that judge can decide what parts to show.
Officer Deal did not have any body camera footage. CMPD is investigating that. The Chief says that could be a serious policy violation.