Questions Around Why CMPD Often Investigates Itself After Officer-Involved Shootings

CHARLOTTE, NC–   A  CMPD officer shot and killed Danquirs Franklin, in the Burger King parking lot on Beatties Ford Road on March 25th. After the public saw the entire 11-minute body camera video of the shooting, activists and some City Council members questioned why CMPD often investigates itself in these cases. They think the State Bureau of Investigation should be brought in.

Willie Ferrell’s brother, Jonathan, was killed by a CMPD officer in 2013. The SBI was eventually brought into the case by the State Attorney General.

“I think it would’ve been better if the SBI would have been brought in much earlier. Because then they would have had more details, and I feel like things could of played out totally different,” says Ferrell.

CMPD conducts two parallel investigations – one internal -and one criminal. Departments can choose if they want the SBI’s help.

“It’s just the public confidence in that investigation. You really can’t win by investigating your own officers in those cases that are so important to the public,” says Underwood.

A CMPD spokesperson told WCCB it has a team of seasoned investigators who look into officer-involved shootings, and they have access to advanced technology. CMPD homicide detectives are specially-trained in death investigations and have conducted more than 8,400 total death investigations in the last 10 years.

Underwood says that doesn’t matter.

“Resources and availability of resources would never be a reason not to call for an independent investigation.”

A CMPD spokesperson says family members have the legal right to formally request CMPD to turn the investigation over to the SBI.