North Carolina Man Killed By Police While Following Commands To Lower His Weapon

Bodycam footage from officer Wende Kerl shows her shooting Danquirs Franklin after he appears to comply with her orders.

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| April 18 2019,

1:11 pm

Officer Kerl ran up behind the car while she and her partner repeatedly shouted commands at Franklin. The two officers ordered him to take the weapon out and put it on the ground. He took the gun out and began to put it on the ground when Kerl opened fire. Franklin looked puzzled as he slumped over. Before losing consciousness, he told the officer, "You told me to..."

Many rallies and protests were held across Charlotte to honor Franklin, who the Charlotte Observer featured in a lengthy 2010 profile. The story focused on Franklin and his best friend Juwon Lewis as they navigated the hardships of a community plagued by drugs and destabilized by the prison system. 



Local news outlets petitioned Mecklenburg Superior Judge Donnie Hoover to release the bodycam footage, and April 11, he agreed. Even before the video was released, there was a large amount of outrage over the killing of the beloved father of three and adored friend.

This police shooting of a Black man by a white officer in Charlotte is the third in six years. Protest organizers and pastors noted that they had all shown up at the same pavilion too many times and police officers in the city had to change. Charlotte police officers shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell in 2013 and Keith Lamont Scott in 2016.

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Kerl is an officer with 20 years of experience and was placed on paid leave after the shooting. Police are still investigating the incident while a parallel investigation is done by the department's Bureau of Internal Affairs.

The CMPD has held a series of community meetings to listen to the public, and many, including lawyers and police officers, have questioned the way Kerl handled the situation. 

At one of these meetings, Sevone Rhynes told the Charlotte Observer, “We do not get the opportunity to comply. When Black people in this country have our humanity recognized, acknowledged and respected, it is only then that de-escalation is going to work.”

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Danquirs Franklin