A female North Carolina police officer has been put on administrative pending an investigation into the shooting of an armed black man. The event was captured by a police body cam.
Wende Kerl was identified as the officer who fired at least two shots which killed 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin on Monday. Franklin was outside a Burger King in Charlotte when police arrived in response to a 911 call made about a man carrying a gun and making threats.
A police camera recorded the interaction between the police and Franklin moments before the shots were fired. It showed as the police approached Danquirs, who was stooped down next to a vehicle.
Police officers are seen less than a car width away from Danquirs. They asked him several times to "put the gun down" as they got closer. "Drop the gun!" an officer is heard yelling.
Danquirs remained still for some time as the officers screamed instructions. Then, he began to lower his right hand which was holding the gun. Soon after, Kerl fired shots at him.
"Shots fired! she immediately screamed into her radio. She walked towards Danquirs to retrieve the gun and said, "I gotta pick up the gun.” She then addressed someone in the passenger seat of the vehicle.
"Let me see your hands," she said. The person rested their hands on the dashboard. At one point, Franklin is heard saying, "You told me to." He was later pronounced dead and the video was released to the public despite objections from Kerl's attorney. R
Residents of Charlotte gathered to protest what had happened. Leaders of the community, including Mayor Vi Lyles, urged people to be peaceful and remain calm as they voice their discontentions.
"It is in moments like this that we can open for a discussion and discourse. We can talk about what’s on that video. But what I always think about is how we respond as a community will reflect how we honor the memory of Danquirs Franklin.”
Kerr Putney, the Police Chief, addressed the events at a news conference by seemingly defending Kerl's actions.
“There is clear and compelling evidence that Mr. Franklin is armed. You will see that [on the video]."
Putney insisted that the video was consistent with previous explanations stating that the offender did not drop his gun upon hearing the command. He did say the video was like "a punch to the gut" and was "hard to watch because a life has been lost."
However, the public is saying that lethal force was used too quickly. The initial 911 call came from a witness inside Burger King who reportedly stated that there was someone inside the business who wielded a gun.
Reports later emerged that Franklin went there because he was angry with an employee at the institution. Franklin was the father of three children and worked as a cook. Before his death, he lived with his longtime girlfriend and his kids.
Meanwhile, Kerl was placed on administrative leave while the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Homicide Unit investigates the matter. She has been working with the department since 1995.
Another incident that is alleged to be racially charged happened on Monday when Alexander Cecil McNab, 23, went to have a meal in a food place of Barnard College.
The student was stopped by security officers who wanted to see his ID. McNab did not immediately display his ID and so more officers were called to help. The men ended up pinning down McNab on a counter until he gave in.
He showed them his ID card but the officer then said he needed to be sure that McNab was an "active" student. McNab was resistant to that as well. The school later released two statements addressing the incident.
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