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Danquirs Franklin Remembered At Candlelight Vigil

Danquirs Franklin was remembered as a father, a friend, an author, and a man passionate about comics at a candlelight vigil Thursday, attended by family members and other Charlotte residents.

The vigil was organized by the activist group Seeking Justice Charlotte. It was held in Charlotte's Marshall Park and commemorated the one-month anniverary of Franklin's death.

Franklin was shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer outside a west Charlotte Burger King on March 25 after police were called to the restaurant on reports of armed man inside.

As a small crowd gathered around a makeshift memorial cobbled out of rocks, flowers, and chalk messages, family members recalled the pride Franklin had in the book he co-authored, titled "There's No Danger in the Water: Encouraging Black Men to Become Mentors."

One of Franklin's aunts, Tamara Hope, recalled the passion Franklin had for Marvel comics, and lamented that he would not be around to see the latest Avengers movie in theaters with his family this weekend.

Speaking to a reporter, Hope and another aunt, Brenda Stanley, said they hoped to see justice in their nephew's case, which they said meant seeing the officer who shot Franklin face charges.

Some of those in attendance, like Kristie Puckett-Williams, said they felt compelled to attend the vigil to recognize Franklin's humanity, which Puckett-Williams said had been missing from the recent conversations about the shooting death.

"We lose sight of what's ultimately the most important part, which is someone lost their life, and children lost their father, and a family lost someone they loved dearly," she said. "And we, the community at large lost, someone that could have been a postive contribution, but we don't know what that would have been because his life was snuffed out."

Sitting near the park's fountain, the Rev. Jay Leach, a pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, said the shooting had made him question whether the city has made any progress at all since the 2016 police shooting of Keith Scott, which sparked weeklong protests across the city.

"It's a sad day because we're right back where we were in Charlotte - in a fractured city," he said, "I guess what I would ask the citizens of Charlotte is, do you feel like in the ensuing three years - do we have more trust in Charlotte than we had before? And if not, then who's responsible? Who's accountable?"