Vigil held for Danquirs Franklin; family says he didn't have to die

For the first time, we heard from the family of the man who was shot and killed by CMPD outside a north Charlotte Burger King at a vigil in Marshall Park, one day after the full police body camera video from the shooting was released.

Police were called to the fast food restaurant by employees and customers on March 25. One woman said Danquirs Franklin threatened employees with a gun.

After arriving at the scene, CMPD officer Wende Kerl shot him in the parking lot. The body cam video shows that not one police officer touched Franklin in the police body camera video. It took firefighters four minutes to get to the scene and start first aid.

“We all get upset sometimes, but its what’s in his heart that counts,” said Franklin’s aunt.

“I’m just going to miss my nephew I’m going to miss those messages I used to get on my birthday,” said another woman who also identified herself as Franklin’s aunt.

Candles could not shed enough light on the community’s concerns.

 “I clearly can say he was wrong in his action but he did not need to die,” said H. Ray Coffee who attended the vigil Thursday night.

A poster echoed words from Officer Kerl who was heard saying “I didn’t have a choice” in the body camera video after she shot Franklin.

 “I’m not going to say all police men are bad,” said Shirley Gomillion. “But it’s just making me where I don’t even want to call police out to the scene.”

In contrast to how officers treated Franklin following the shooting, in 2016 when police shot Keith Lamont Scott, CMPD officers quickly pulled out first aid kits and began to render aid.

“Major change needs to come to CMPD,” said Coffee.

Family and neighbors are pledging to be peaceful, but say they want to see improvements in policing tactics. 

“They think we going to tear up the town, no we not going to tear up the town,” said Franklin’s aunt. 

Now they're wait for a decision from the District Attorney and call for improvements in the police department.

“It’s going to make a change. He did not die in vain.”