Authorities have released footage of a deadly standoff between police and a man accused of pointing a gun at a fast food restaurant in North Carolina, on March 25.
The police body cam video, which a Superior Court judge approved for release to media, shows two officers in an armed standoff with Danquirs Franklin, 27, outside the Burger King at 2601 Beatties Ford Road.
Warning: This video contains images that may be distressing to some viewers.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed Metro Division Officers Wende Kerl and Larry Deal were responding to two separate 911 phone calls, the first of which claimed Franklin had entered the restaurant, walked behind the counter, and pointed his gun at an employee at about 9 a.m. local time.
A second caller less than two minutes later claimed the same suspect had approached her vehicle and pulled out a gun while she was waiting to receive her order in the parking lot.
“A description of the individual was given to both officers over the radio and, in addition, our Real Time Crime Center was monitoring the call and directed the officers over the radio to his exact location,” the department said in a public statement.
Kerl and Deal arrived on the scene just four minutes after receiving the 911 call at 9:04 a.m. They exited their vehicle and approached Franklin who was squatting next to the open front passenger door of a burgundy Honda Accord.
“Both Officers gave several commands to Mr. Franklin to drop the gun [and put it on the ground],” the department said. “A short time later, Officer Kerl perceived an imminent, deadly threat, and subsequently fired her department issued firearm two times, striking Mr. Franklin. He was transported to Atrium Health where he was pronounced deceased a short time later.”
CMPD has posted body worn camera video from the March 25 officer-involved shooting on our website. It is just one piece…
During the standoff Franklin seemed eerily calm and still.
“I heard you the first [inaudible] time,” Franklin said according to WSBTV.
The exchange was momentarily interrupted when a Burger King employee walked toward Franklin but turned back after Kerl warned her that the suspect was carrying a gun.
Franklin slowly moved his right hand into what appeared to be his pocket, pulled out the gun, and lowered it to the ground.
Kerl opened fire twice before the weapon touched the ground. Franklin, who appeared to be shocked by the gunfire, turned towards Kerl and, according to WSBTV, said, “You told me to put it …” before turning back inside the car and collapsing on the asphalt.
The video was released despite protest from prosecutors and the Assistant District Attorney representing Kerl, Bill Bunting, who warned it could affect the current investigation into the shooting. Defense Attorney Jeremy Smith warned releasing the footage could put Kerl in danger of public backlash.
CMPD has posted body worn camera video from March 25 officer-involved shooting. It is just one piece of evidence among many others to be considered in determining whether the shooting was justified. Both criminal and internal investigations are continuing. https://t.co/mPU9UhN9KO
— CMPD News (@CMPD) April 15, 2019
Concerned citizens shared mixed views on social media after watching the video on YouTube.
“When I watch footage like this I often wonder if the hysterical style of screaming by police helps defuse the situation or makes it worse?” mack89464 said. “I’m sure there must be some psychology behind it in their training—it just sounds bizarre from a third person perspective.”
“If you haven’t been in a situation like that then you have no idea of the adrenaline flowing through your body. You also haven’t experienced the unbelievable, yet common response of people who completely ignore the lawful orders of police officers,” Joe Pier said. “The screaming is because, believe it or don’t, the last thing that [a] cop wants to do is shoot that man, she isn’t screaming, she is pleading with him.”
“He didn’t put his hands up because they told him to put the gun on the ground, which is what he was moving to do when she shot him,” Christopher Deshaies said. “He turns to her and says ‘but you told me to put it’ and dies. It was 40 seconds after she got out of the car, gun drawn, yelling.”
A police officer from a different jurisdiction suggested a different solution.
“Brasilian police officer here, what she did wrong if she was a cop here: a) in a more than one suspect situation, if you already have control, you make the guy lift his hands … you just tell it to drop when his weapon if the gun is already on his hand,” Filipe N. said. “B) Have your partner control while you cuff, tell suspect to lay on [the] floor, and look for weapons on him.”
As CMPD prepares to release video related to an officer-involved shooting, we want to remind the public of the process followed anytime an officer fires their weapon. https://t.co/CzNaKphPwv
— CMPD News (@CMPD) April 15, 2019