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CMPD Says It Will Change Video Footage Release Policy

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters.
Logan Cyrus
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says it is implementing a series of changes following a deadly officer-involved shooting in west Charlotte last month. At a Wednesday morning news conference, Deputy Chief Estella Patterson said it will now be the department’s policy to release all relevant video footage of critical incidents, including officer-involved shootings, to the court for a judge to decide what is appropriate for the public to see.

“We believe that the legal standard — while it’s a great standard — that we should be more stringent,” Patterson said. “We should have a higher standard. So, in transparency, that’s what we’re going to be doing moving forward.”

Police Chief Kerr Putney said the department will ask the judge that the video footage be redacted if it discloses "information that might harm [CMPD's] ability to fully investigate or prosecute a case"

"However, our policy is to put everything out," Putney said. "But I'm still going to request through the judge that certain things are redacted [so that] certain things are not gonna impact the ability to seek that justice. So we're still going to have recommendations, even if we're putting all the video out." 

The announcement comes after CMPD withheld around nine minutes of video footage of a deadly-officer involved shooting outside a west Charlotte Burger King last month. The department initially released two minutes and 20 seconds of body camera video showing the moments immediately surrounding the shooting of 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin, but did not publicly release the full 11-minute video.

A judge has since ordered the department to publish the full video by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal