"You Told Me To": Black Man Who Tried To Lower Weapon Was Still Fatally Shot By North Carolina Police Officer
Police body-cam footage of the incident was released earlier this week.
Newly released body-cam footage taken from a police officer in North Carolina appears to show a black man trying to lower his gun and still getting shot by police officers after they told him to drop the weapon.
The footage, obtained by the Charlotte Observer, shows the confrontation between Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Wende Kerl and Danquirs Franklin that happened on March 25, which resulted in Franklin’s death after Kerl fatally shot him. Kerl and another officer were responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun threatening people at a Burger King.
The body camera, which was on Kerl, shows her another officer instructing Franklin to put the gun down. Franklin is squatting next to an open car door as the officers continue to tell the 27-year-old to drop his weapon. From there, the video shows Franklin using his right hand to reach something in his pocket, and pulls out a gun by the barrel. He appeared to be lowering the weapon when Kerl fired two shots.
After being shot, Franklin can be heard saying “You told me to,” as the officers walk toward him.
Kerl’s attorney and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office had objected to the video being released. But Mecklenburg Superior Judge Donnie Hoover ordered it to be released after a court petition was made by local media.
The events leading up to Franklin’s death are unknown. As the Observer reported, two women made separate calls to 911, stating they saw a man with a gun.
“A customer came up here and he walked behind the counter to fight an employee,” the first 911 caller, who was inside the restaurant, said. “He got a gun! He got a gun!” she said shortly after, telling the operator he was pointing it at employees.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney has yet to offer his opinion on Kerl’s actions but did speak on the footage.
“[It’s] like a punch to the gut,” Putney said Monday. “It’s hard to watch. It’s hard to see because a life has been lost.”
Franklin worked as a fry cook to support himself and three children he had. Since the shooting, school walkouts and protests have occurred. Emily White, a woman who says she was Franklin’s 10th grade English teacher, has made a GoFundMe to support his family.
Source: Charlotte Observer