Video: Officers shoot man after telling him to drop gun

Apr 15, 2019, 5:21 PM
In this frame grab from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer body camera released Mond...
In this frame grab from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer body camera released Monday, April 15, 2019, shows two officers approaching 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin outside a Burger King on March 29, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. Franklin was shot and killed. (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department via AP)
(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Police video released Monday shows an officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, fatally shooting a man who was armed but didn’t point his weapon at authorities.

The body camera footage shows two officers approaching 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin outside a Burger King on March 25 after witnesses called 911 to report a man with a gun acting in a threatening manner.

The police video shows officers repeatedly yelling for Franklin, who is black, to put his gun down. He’s seen squatting by the open door of a car, facing someone in the passenger seat.

“Sir, put the gun down,” says the officer wearing the body camera. “Drop the gun!”

Franklin doesn’t move as police approach him, the video shows. As they shout at him, Franklin can be seen raising his right hand with an object in it, still facing the person in the passenger seat.

He lowers his hand right around the time when the first of two shots by the officer can be heard on the video. “Shots fired!” the officer yells into her radio. About 40 seconds had passed from the time the officer exited her cruiser to when Franklin was shot.

She then reaches under his body and can be seen picking up a handgun, saying: “I gotta pick up the gun.”

The officers tell the person in the passenger seat, “Let me see your hands,” and the person holds them out on the dashboard. In response to an email seeking the person’s identity, police spokesman Lt. Brad Koch replied, “This is still an active criminal investigation.”

Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP chapter, summed up her reaction to the video in four words: “Hurt, disgust, anger, frustration.” But she said anyone who chooses to protest in response to the release should do so peacefully.

She said the officer didn’t follow procedure and “didn’t view Danquirs Franklin as a man, but saw him as a danger.”

“This female officer shot this man while he was adhering to her commands,” she said in a phone interview.

Robert Dawkins of Safe Coalition NC said violence and taking to the streets won’t solve anything, and he doesn’t anticipate it happening.

A handful of protesters gathered in a downtown Charlotte park around 6 p.m., with more expected. Clergy members were also slated to meet at a local church before making their own pleas for peaceful protest.

Before the release of the footage, Charlotte leaders held a news conference to urge community members to be calm after seeing what’s on it. They noted that protests had been planned even before the video’s release. No protesters were seen at the Burger King on Monday afternoon, shortly after the video came out.

Mayor Vi Lyles urged the community to engage in a peaceful discourse about what happened.

“It is in moments like this that we can open for a discussion and discourse. We can talk about what’s on that video,” she said. “But what I always think about is how we respond as a community will reflect how we honor the memory of Danquirs Franklin.”

Police Chief Kerr Putney said the video is hard to watch, but it shows that Franklin was armed.

“There is clear and compelling evidence that Mr. Franklin is armed. You will see that” on the video, Putney said at a news conference.

Putney said Monday that the video is consistent with what police have said all along, that Franklin refused to drop his weapon and an officer fired after perceiving a lethal threat.

Before the shooting, one witness who called 911 said that an armed man had entered Burger King and tried to start a fight with employees.

“Can you please send somebody quickly? Please. He got a gun. … He’s pointing it,” she said.

But since the shooting, some have questioned whether police were too quick to use lethal force, including students who walked out of a school to protest the shooting days after it happened.

The officer who shot Franklin was identified as Officer Wende Kerl, who has worked for the department since 1995. She has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by detectives, who will turn their findings over to the district attorney. A department spokesman has declined to release Kerl’s race.

The video was released Monday by a judge in response to a media petition.

Franklin’s death came less than three years after another fatal shooting by a police officer sparked several days of civil unrest in Charlotte, including injuries and property damage. A prosecutor later cleared the officer in the September 2016 shooting of Keith Lamont Scott after reviewing evidence including surveillance footage indicating he had a holstered gun on his ankle.

Today’s Top Stories


Twitter might get bought by Elon Musk after all. Twitter screen shown on phone...

Musk offers to end legal fight, pay $44B to buy Twitter

The offer comes just two weeks before the Twitter lawsuit seeking to force Musk to go through with the deal goes to trial in Delaware Chancery Court.
20 hours ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
The Associated Press

Supreme Court’s top cases for new term, new Justice Jackson

Already the Supreme Court has said it will decide cases on a range of major issues including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.
2 days ago
TikTok shown on a phone. TikTok is proving influential in poliitics...
DAVID KLEPPER Associated Press

TikTok politics: Candidates turn to it ‘for better or worse’

TikTok isn't just about viral dance challenges anymore, but also a place to shop, learn about beauty, fashion or even politics.
5 days ago
Damage from Hurricane Ian...

Ian returns to hurricane status, meanwhile floods trap many in Florida

Hours after weakening to a tropical depression while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean.
6 days ago
An uprooted tree, toppled by strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, rests in a parking...
CURT ANDERSON Associated Press

Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm

About 2.5 million people had been ordered to evacuate the area before the storm hit the coast on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (241 kph).
7 days ago
The White House to ask for less money to fund border wall...

Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Last month, Venezuelans surpassed Guatemalans and Hondurans to become the second-largest nationality stopped at the U.S. border after Mexicans.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Video: Officers shoot man after telling him to drop gun