CMPD chief says more needs to be done to build trust with Charlotte community

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney admitted that more needs to be done to gain the trust of the Charlotte community on Wednesday.

Questions were left unanswered following the release of the body camera video last week from the officer who shot and killed an armed man at a north Charlotte Burger King on March 25. 

We’ve learned that the a second officer, who appears in the video, did not have his body camera on at the time of the incident. 

“There’s two people, one camera. Obviously an internal investigation is looking for what is missing,” Putney says.

Putney says in the past some officers have been flagged and disciplined for not following proper protocol when it comes to body cams.

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“Prior to, we were catching none, so I think having 13 from now is an improvement, and the issue is there were 11 officers, 13 allegations that contribute to the body warn cameras and the range of discipline is from a written reprimand all the way up to 240 hours of suspension,” Putney said.

CMPD adds body cam video isn't just to offer transparency to the public. It's also used to evaluate officers especially in the art of de-escalation. 

“In 2018 we had 9,812 encounters with armed individuals. We successfully deescalated 9,807 where officers didn’t use any excessive type of force, where officers weren't involved in a shooting or critical incident. In 2019, we have 2,407 armed encounters, and we have successfully de-escalated 2,405 of those,” another CMPD officer added. 

Chief Putney adds that if proper use of the body camera isn't followed there will be swift and significant discipline. 

“I want to make sure people get the message on how serious we send it and I think that message will be received as it has been how we give out discipline around bwc. I think this will be no different.”