CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Amid mounting pressure from the community, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said he's open to releasing the full body camera footage of last month's shooting of Danquirs Franklin.
"We fulfilled the legal requirements, but we want to do more. That's the truth," he told NBC Charlotte Thursday afternoon. "Here's the fine line. There comes a time when there's information in the video that really hurts the investigation and that's the only limit I would ask to put on it."
The willingness to release more footage comes after the Charlotte Observer reported Charlotte City Council got to watch all 11 minutes of the footage, while CMPD released only two minutes and 20 seconds to the public Monday. The agency released the video at our request and the request of WBTV. Shortly after reviewing the footage Monday, both news outlets questioned why the video ended abruptly. CMPD has maintained its initial video release "exceeded" our request. However, the chief said he is now open to releasing more.
"As far as everything that people want to see, that's fine as long as it doesn't hurt the investigation," the chief said.
Community activists met with Charlotte's city manager demanding the full release of the body camera video earlier Thursday after learning councilmembers viewed the entire footage.
"That left us all deeply disturbed," NAACP President Rev Corine Mack said. "We're about transparency, truth and honesty. That's all we're asking from our leadership."
"Is the first step in transparency releasing the full video?" we asked Educate To Engage founder Patrice Funderburg. "Absolutely and acknowledging that (the city) dropped the ball," she said.
In addition, Funderburg, Mack and Project BOLT President Gemini Boyd asked officials to take the next step on a much deeper level by making meaningful investments in minority communities to prompt meaningful change.
"When I seen that video, I seen myself...and then after I seen myself, I seen his mother had to bury her son again, because she had to watch that tape again and thirdly and lastly, his children had to go through it again, so no one's speaking on the humanity part of that and that's what we need to be targeting." Boyd said. "How can we heal that family and then how can we heal this city? We can do that by making sure that we're going into these impoverished neighborhoods and doing what's right."
The video released to the public ended after Officer Wende Kerl fired the lethal shots, picked up the gun and Franklin's legs moved. From then on out, we don't know how much or how little first aid officers gave or what they said over the next eight to nine minutes, but councilmembers do know.
Activists are now asking city leaders to not only right the wrong but take steps to build up the relationship with minority communities to promote change.
"We make mistakes," an activist said. "Here's an opportunity for them to get it right, and so now I'm waiting for them to do it the right way, to get it right, to be authentic, to be honest, to be humble and move forward in a way that is going to be productive to build trust."
Council member Braxton Winston watched the video and told the Charlotte Observer the first time Franklin is seen receiving medical attention is when paramedics arrived at about the eight-minute mark. He also told the Observer the video shows Kerl explaining why she shot the man, saying, "I had to (shoot). He had a weapon," according to the Charlotte Observer.
In light of concerns, Charlotte City Attorney Patrick Baker emailed councilmembers with additional information Thursday. In his email, he said the judge who approved our request didn't even get to view the entire video. Instead, he only watched the same portion most of the rest of us did.
According to a CMPD spokesperson, the agency is now handing over the rest of the video to the judge who is expected to make a decision next week about whether to release all of it to the public.
Related on WCNC:
- 'We've been trying to grieve' | Mother of Danquirs Franklin's children speaks out on police shooting
- CMPD Chief calls for community meetings following release of body-cam video
- Chief Putney: Only one body camera worked during officer-involved shooting
- Putney: Deadly shooting 'one of the most troubling videos I've seen'
- Community responds after body-cam video released from officer-involved shooting
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