CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Calling it one of the most troubling videos he's seen, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said he couldn't go into specifics on the investigation into whether Officer Wende Kerl was legally justified in shooting and killing 27-year-old Danquirs Franklin.
Putney was joined by Mayor Vi Lyles and City Manager Marcus Jones at a public meeting outside uptown Tuesday morning. The meeting focused on two topics: the body cam video and the spate of violence that's been occurring in Charlotte.
"It is one of the most troubling videos I've seen," said Putney.
A judge ordered CMPD release the video after NBC Charlotte and other media outlets petitioned its release for transparency based on differing eyewitness accounts of what happened.
People who attended the session asked questions about use of force tactics and how CMPD plans to get handle on violent crimes after several recent murders.
"I'm not going to defend a thing, it's not my job," Putney said. "I'm not going to defend the officer's actions, I'm not going to try to vilify Mr. Franklin. He has a fantastic mother who's struggling and I promised her I'm going to be a fact seeker and a seeker of justice. And if that means whatever outcome it is, that's the outcome we're going to achieve."
In the video, multiple officers are heard repeatedly telling Franklin to drop his weapon. Moments later, an object is seen in Franklin's right hand and Kerl fired multiple shots. He was rushed to a hospital where he died.
Putney told the group he was pleased that the department is being held accountable on multiple levels in the wake of the shooting.
"We do get judged when there is an officer-involved shooting, and the criticism and scrutiny is absolutely justified," Putney said.
Putney was asked why CMPD only released one body cam video. He said there was only one working camera at the time of the shooting, which is part of CMPD's internal investigation. Putney didn't get into specific details of the case but said it's a major internal violation for an officer to not have his or her camera turned on.
"If you don't have your body camera on, that's a violation of policy and a serious violation," he said. "I can tell you one body camera was working. I can't talk about the rest because that's going to be investigated as well. That's a serious offense."
Putney said it could be another six to eight weeks before the District Attorney reviews the case and determines if charges will be filed. He said once the D.A. is finished with the review, he will be able to determine if CMPD policy was violated by any of the officers.