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DA Says All Future Charlotte Police Shootings Will Be Investigated By State

Mecklenburg District Attorney's Office

All future police shootings in Mecklenburg County that result in death or serious injury will be investigated by the state.

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather made that commitment Friday. Merriweather says that currently the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is the only police department in the county that does not automatically turn over the investigation of officer-involved shootings to the State Bureau of Investigation.

The results of CMPD’s internal investigations are turned over to the district attorney’s office for officials there to determine whether to press charges. Merriweather says CMPD’s internal investigations have been thorough and professional, but he says the change will minimize any perceived conflict of interest.

Merriweather says he notified SBI and CMPD officials about his decision. He says the new policy will go into effect as soon as protocols are established for the local police to secure crime scenes until SBI agents can arrive and take over an investigation. An SBI spokesperson says the fatal 2016 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott was the last time the agency is aware of being the lead investigator involving a CMPD officer shooting.

Merriweather's announcement comes just a week after he announced his office would not prosecute the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who shot and killed 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin outside a restaurant in March.

In a statement released through an attorney, Franklin's family members said they were disappointed in that decision.

Merriweather says he'll share more information about the process Tuesday at a meeting of the Citizens Review Board.

Dash joined WFAE as a digital editor for news and engagement in 2019. Before that, he was a reporter for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, where he covered public safety and the military, among other topics. He also covered county government in Gaston County, North Carolina, for its local newspaper, the Gazette.