Charlotte’s Black community, which has a history of mistrusting the police, is likely wondering if a cover-up is underway after the police released only partial footage of the police killing Danquirs Franklin last month.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) withheld nearly nine minutes of footage from the police body-worn camera that captured what happened in the March 25 shooting, the Charlotte News & Observer reported Wednesday night.
A judge had ordered the police to release the footage that shows two officers approaching 27-year-old Franklin, who was reportedly armed with a gun, while he was squatting near the open door of a vehicle in a Burger King parking lot. Protesters have said the cops failed the de-escalate the situation before Officer Wende Kerl, who is white, fired.
On Monday, CMPD released two minutes and 20 seconds—out of the approximately 11-minute video—from Kerl’s body camera. The short version of the video, which was released to the public, ends after Kerl fires and Franklin slumps over.
Police officials allowed Charlotte City Council members to view the entire 11-minute video in a private viewing.
Some City Council members and City Attorney Patrick Baker wanted to know why the police withheld the additional footage from the public.
“I’m not sure why I’m being shown something that the general public is not going to see,” said Baker, who watched the video with other city leaders. “I mean, this is the last thing we wanted. City Council has been very clear that they want to be transparent. It’s critical we get this right.”
The video shows the officers ordering Franklin multiple times to put down his gun. He’s facing the vehicle and doesn’t move. It’s unclear from the video angle exactly if he’s holding the weapon in his hands. When he appears to lower his right hand, Kerl fires—roughly 40 seconds from the time she got out of her police cruiser.
After he’s shot, CNN said Franklin appears to say, “You told me to…” before he collapsed–suggesting that he was trying to comply before Kerl fired.
Here’s the video that was released to the public.
City Council member Braxton Winston revealed that after the shooting the video shows that Kerl was busy explaining to other officers why she shot Franklin. Meanwhile, Franklin received no medical aid from the officers. He received medical attention at about the eight-minute mark in the video when paramedics arrived.
There were peaceful protests after the shooting. But now there are concerns that things could escalate. After the short video was released, protests said Franklin was shot before he was given a chance to comply. News that he received no medical aid from the police will likely add fuel to their anger.
City officials said they will find out why the full video was not released, Baker said. Meanwhile, Kerl is on administrative leave.