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Marshall Park Protesters Express Outrage Over Video Of Fatal Police Shooting

Memorial for Danquiris Franklin, fatally shot in March by a CMPD officer
Gwendolyn Glenn
Memorial for Danquiris Franklin, fatally shot in March by a CMPD officer.

Numerous rallies and gatherings were held across Charlotte after video was released Monday of the fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin last month. Many believe the video shows Franklin was appearing to drop his gun as ordered, just before he was shot. At Marshall Park about 100 people attended a rally to show their outrage over the shooting.

Angry, upset, fed up and shocked were some of the words people at the rally used to express their feelings after seeing the video. Police on bicycles nearby kept their distance as the protesters formed a large circle around a heart drawn in pink chalk, with candles, rocks and flowers outlining it and Danquirs Franklin’s name written in large letters in the center.

“It’s horrible, he should have walked away alive from that,” said Kass Ottley. “CMPD talks about de-escalation and they don’t do that.”

Credit Gwendolyn Glenn
Local NAACP President Corinne Mack wants the officer charged in Danquirs Franklin's death

Ottley and many others in the crowd felt the officer was too aggressive and quick to shoot Franklin. Tim Emry and Kirsten Huntley, who are white and Minster Shawn Richardson who is black say Franklin’s shooting is a scene that has played out in Charlotte too many times.

“My reaction was police officers were unnecessarily aggressive and didn’t make any effort to resolve it peacefully but chose expedience and killed someone that probably didn’t need to be killed,” Emry said.

Credit Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE
Protesters at Marshall Park rally

“I’m here today because this is just too much,” Huntley said. “I can’t believe it’s happened again in our city. It seems if you are afraid of black people you shouldn’t be a cop.”

“I’m just tired of the same thing,” Richardson said. “It repeats itself and we’re no different from 2016 and Keith Lamont Scott. Nothing has changed.”

Credit Gwendolyn Glenn
Minister Shawn Richardson says CMPD's de-escalation training is not working.

Richardson is referring to the fatal shooting of Keith Scott in an apartment parking lot by a CMPD officer. No charges were filed although a Citizens Review Board split four to four on whether CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney was correct in determining the shooting was justified. Local NAACP President Corrine Mack says she believes Franklin was following the officer’s orders to drop his gun when he was shot. She wants the officer held accountable.

“I want to see her charged by CMPD and I want to see justice,” Mack said. “Tomorrow it can be any one of us out here now. I hope Danquirs Franklin’s life stolen by that officer is never forgotten. We have an opportunity to unify in ways we had not before.”

That sentiment was echoed by other speakers at the rally, who said the city has to come together to bring about true change in law enforcement, although most were not optimistic it will happen anytime soon.

Gwendolyn is an award-winning journalist who has covered a broad range of stories on the local and national levels. Her experience includes producing on-air reports for National Public Radio and she worked full-time as a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered news program for five years. She worked for several years as an on-air contract reporter for CNN in Atlanta and worked in print as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, The Washington Post and covered Congress and various federal agencies for the Daily Environment Report and Real Estate Finance Today. Glenn has won awards for her reports from the Maryland-DC-Delaware Press Association, SNA and the first-place radio award from the National Association of Black Journalists.