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WFAE's coverage of the case of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jonathan Ferrell. The court case ended in a mistrial.

CMPD Launches Online Site On Police Shootings And Traffic Stops

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
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In an effort to improve transparency at the CMPD, the department’s website now includes a page where the general public can get more information on police shootings and traffic stops.

Following last month’s fatal police shooting of Keith Scott, community leaders and protesters called on CMPD to be more transparent and accountable. Major Johnny Jennings says the new site has been in the works since last year and was recommended by a White House task force on policing. The idea is to have information on police shootings in one place.

“If you go to the Open Data Source there’s a narrative that goes along with it and you can see what the results are as far as adjudication, what the district attorney’s decision was on the cases, what we acted on as far as the police department was concerned,” Jennings said. “Some of the data you will see in the Open Data Source was accessible but not in one specific location.”

The site includes the race, age and gender of people they shot, but it does not include names, full dates and the most recent police-involved shootings. For example, the Keith Scott fatal shooting last month still is not listed.

“All of this has to be vetted and approved to be released,” Jennings said. “Obviously when you talk about officer involved shootings there is some sensitive information that we have to make sure we’re able to put out. I think like Mr. Scott’s info will be out there soon. Some of the data won’t be real time.”

The site’s narrative of the fatal police shooting of Jonathan Ferrell in 2013 includes an inaccuracy. It says he immediately ran toward police as they exited their vehicles. Video of the incident shows him slowly walking up a sidewalk toward police and running when Taser dots appeared on his shirt. It doesn’t mention that he was unarmed or had just been in a serious car accident.

“We want to make sure that it is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s put out, so I have to look at that one,” Jennings said.

The site, which Jennings says is a work in progress, also includes police traffic stop information and it breaks down the demographic information for each division of CMPD.