City leaders call for calm reaction ahead of release of deadly officer-involved shooting video

Charlotte leaders call for calm ahead of video release from deadly officer-involved shooting

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hours before the release of the body camera video from a deadly Charlotte officer-involved shooting, community leaders called for a calm reaction.

Danquirs Franklin was shot and killed by veteran Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Wendy Kerl in a Burger King parking lot March 25, police say. Weeks after the shooting, WBTV’s Chief Investigative Reporter Nick Oschner petitioned the release of the body camera video.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said the video, scheduled to be released publicly at 2 p.m. Monday, is only a piece of the investigation.

“There is clear and compelling evidence that Mr. Franklin was armed. You will see that at 2 o’clock today,” Putney said. “I can tell you from what I see the rumors are invalid.”

Putney says the video is difficult to watch and asks the community to join in praying for Franklin’s family and the officers.

“It’s like a punch to the gut. It’s hard to watch,” Putney said of his response to the video, explaining that a life was lost.

Putney says officers are expecting at least seven protests, which he says they are prepared for.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, who had not seen the video at the time of the press conference, emphasized the importance of protesting peacefully and honoring Franklin’s legacy.

“Part of his legacy will be determined by how we conduct ourselves as a community,” Lyles said. “We know protests are important and we are going to make it possible every way we can to have them occur.”

Lyles asked the community to come together respectfully.

City councilman Braxton Winston says along with the other members of council, he believes strongly in the city’s leadership.

Days before the release of the body camera video, Putney said he wants the public to realize while body-camera footage is an important part of the investigation, it does not tell or show the entire story of why an officer chooses to use deadly force.

Body worn cameras, which are not required by state or federal law, are reviewed during the parallel administrative and criminal investigations.

Putney spoke on the Pat McCrory Show on WBT Radio Monday morning discussing the department’s plans following the release of the video.

“I heard loud and clear that I need to listen and that’s what I’m going to do.” Putney said. “Hear what people have to say.”

Putney says the department has two community conversations scheduled this week.

The events will be held Tuesday April 16 at East Stonewall AME Zion Church and Wednesday April 17 at Little Rock AME Zion Church. Both events are scheduled to start at 6:30 and end at 8:30 p.m.

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