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CMPD Releases Full 11-Minute Video Of Danquirs Franklin Shooting


Additional video related to the shooting of Danquirs Franklin shows officer Wende Kerl saying Franklin's gun was in his jacket before he moved his hand to pull the weapon out. Kerl shot him, as Franklin seemed to be holding the gun by the barrel with the butt facing outward and not pointing at the officers. 

About five minutes 40 seconds after the shooting at a west Charlotte Burger King, she tells another officer:

"I had to - he wouldn't drop the gun, and he brought it out of his jacket."

A few minutes later, she says from her police cruiser: "He had a gun. He wouldn't drop it. Then he reached in his thing, pulled the gun out. We didn't know - we thought it was in the hand, and I shot him."

Kerl and officer Larry Deal commanded Franklin to drop his gun or put it on the ground at least 24 times before the shooting. It's unknown if the officers could see the gun. The gun was not apparent from Kerl's body camera.

[Related Content: What We Know About The Shooting Of Danquirs Franklin]

The footage is an extension of a two minute and 20 second video CMPD released last week and shows Kerl’s reaction after shooting Franklin, and her explanation to police who arrive on scene.

Over the 11-minute video, Kerl says phrases like “I shot him,” “I didn’t have a choice” and “I’m all right” numerous times. 

Kerl does not mention a gun being in a jacket when talking to an officer nearly 3 minutes after shooting. At that point, she only refers to seeing a gun in his hand.

"All I know is I shot because he had the gun in his hand," Kerl tells one officer who arrives on scene. "This is the gun. I had to take it from underneath him."

Robert Dawkins, the director of Safe Coalition NC, speaks with WFAE's Sarah Delia. Dawkins says Crisis Intervention training is not a priority for CMPD.

CMPD says Kerl and Deal were responding to 9-1-1 calls of an armed man at the Burger King. The first caller said a person entered the Burger King, walked behind the counter with a gun, and pointed it at an employee. The second caller said a person approached her vehicle in the parking lot and "looked like he was pulling out a gun," but added that she didn't see it.

The two officers were dispatched at 9:02 a.m. to an assault with a deadly weapon with no injury call for service.

Seth Stoughton, an assistant professor of law at the University of South Carolina and a former police officer, said the comments after the shooting confirm his earlier opinion that Franklin's gun was in his jacket.

"It looks to me at the moment before the shooting, about 43 seconds into the earlier video, that he is reaching into his pocket with his right hand," Stoughton said. "And when he takes the gun out, it looks like he is holding it from the top, from the slide, with the handle facing forward, and the muzzle facing back along his arm, back toward him."

Statement from officer Wende Kerl's lawyer Jeremy Smith.

Kerl’s attorney, Jeremy Smith, released a statement Wednesday evening defending Kerl – saying the whole story of what happened cannot be told in the video.

He said Franklin went to the Burger King with “the intention of threatening a domestic partner after committing multiple acts of domestic violence inside the restaurant and pointing the firearm at multiple people, he left and went outside.”

He said Kerl had to make a split-second decision about protecting a man Franklin was kneeling next to, as well her and another officer.

The extended video also shows that three minutes and 50 seconds passed after Franklin was shot until Charlotte fire and medical personnel arrived. By now, more officers had arrived, and none are seen giving medical attention. 

"In the aftermath, I’m really surprised that the officers made no attempt to offer or provide first aid," Stoughton said. "That’s not normal. That’s not best practices."

It’s unclear why the officers didn’t try to help Franklin. Kerle was unsure about his condition, and asked a colleague whether he was alive toward the end of the video.

"Is he alive?" Kerl asked another officer.  "I don’t know. Hey Hawkins? Is he alive? What’s that? Is he alive? Don’t know."

The lack of medical attention is disturbing to City Council member Julie Eiselt. She and other council members watched the full video last week.

"That took me aback, it was very difficult to see that scene, and not have anyone rendering first aid," she said. 

Police chief Kerr Putney addressed the lack of medical attention earlier Wednesday. He said that his officers need more training to give first aid.

"What cannot be more disheartening is watching the video, and we see a lot of them, and it appears that, but for training, we could have rendered more aid" Putney said. "I can tell you the specific video of Mr. Franklin is a good example."

Mecklenburg Judge Lisa Bell ordered the full release of the video Tuesday. Meanwhile, CMPD’s criminal investigation is complete. It turned over the case to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday. The DA’s review and a recommendation of whether to press charges is expected about 90 days.

Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE.
Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.