CMPD chief faces tough questions at community meeting over fatal police shooting

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney faced tough questions and even a call for his resignation at an open community forum addressing the fatal shooting of an armed man by a police officer. 

The meeting was held just one day after body camera footage of the deadly shooting of Danquirs Franklin was released. Neighbors had mixed feelings about the video. One man even said Putney and Mayor Vi Lyles should resign. 

"I’ll never quit. I could be fired, but I’ll never quit,” Putney said in response. 

Putney affirmed that he is committed to progress after Officer Wende Kerl shot and killed Franklin.

Tuesday night the community members gathered at East Stonewall AME Zion Church just a mile from where the shooting occurred for the discussion.

Some asked the police chief about how they train officers to react and communicate with suspects in a tense situation.

RELATED: CMPD's de-escalation procedures questioned following release of video from police shooting

Others turned their questions to fellow neighbors: “How many of you would take the job of a police officer?” one community memeber questioned.

FOX 46 asked Chief Putney in that instant why an officer wouldn’t aim for a suspect’s leg. He said it’s all about accuracy.

“People are asking ‘you shoot to kill?’ No, we want to hit the target because if we miss we are accountable and putting other people’s lives in danger,” said Putney.

While the department is evaluating their de-escalation training and policies, Putney says community conversation cannot stop here. 

“I’m not the only one in the city that’s hurting. I've got to listen to these stories because that is the human element, how our policies take on life.”

Chief Putney also says there is only video from one body camera at the deadly scene and not wearing the body camera is a serious offense for officers.

The case will eventually go to the District Attorney to determine if the officer was justified in pulling the trigger.

There is another community conversation planned for Wednesday April 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Little Rock AME Zion Church in Uptown.

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