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 of a Burger King on March 25 and repeatedly yelling for him to put his gun down. He’s 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, according to 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.”
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.
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 evidence 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.
A witness told a 911 dispatcher that Franklin was armed and had been threatening restaurant employees.
But since the shooting, some have questioned whether police had were too quick to use lethal force.