Activists Call For Firing Of CMPD Officer, Independent SBI Investigation Of Franklin Shooting
Activists are again calling for the officer who shot and killed an African-American man outside a west Charlotte Burger King in March to be fired and charged with murder. That’s after the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Wednesday released nearly nine minutes of additional body camera footage from the shooting of 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin.
The footage showed officers did not render aid to Franklin in the minutes after the shooting, and the officer who fired the fatal shots, officer Wende Kerl, is heard saying she had no choice but to shoot him.
Robert Dawkins, with the activist group SAFE Coalition NC, told WFAE he finds the footage troubling.
“We saw no duty to intervene,” Dawkins said. “What we did see was ‘Let’s intervene to care for our officer because this was traumatic for her.’ But it was life-ending for Mr. Franklin.”
Meanwhile, at a press conference outside CMPD headquarters Wednesday night following the release, a coalition of activists issued demands for a number of policy changes. Local attorney Andrew Fede called for an independent investigation, not just in this most recent shooting, but for all police shootings moving forward.
“Number one thing we need to do is from now on, where there’s police-involved shootings, there needs to be a separate investigation by an independent body — the SBI [State Bureau of Investigation]. We don’t need the police investigating themselves. That’s like asking me to audit my own taxes. That doesn’t make sense.”
He also said it was time for the city to give stronger oversight powers to the Citizens Review Board, which is tasked with reviewing complaints filed against Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.
Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg chapter of the NAACP, said the extended video was further evidence of how the two officers mishandled the situation outside a Burger King in west Charlotte.
“[Kerl] came out of the car as if it was O.K. Corral,” Mack said. “There was no de-escalation. There were two officers yelling and screaming at a man who’s already traumatized. No one thought of him as a human being, to find out was the problem was.”
Mack said she’s “so, so tired” of incidents like the Franklin shooting.
“What I’m saying to you is black lives don’t matter in this city. It’s proven over and over again to us.”
Activists are planning to hold a candlelight vigil for Franklin’s family at 7 p.m. Thursday evening in Marshall Park.