Wende Kerl

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Service Record

Charlotte-Mecklenburg North Carolina Police Department

Rank Officer
Dates of Service Hired April 19, 1995.[1]
Salary $80,156 (2021)[2]
Last Known Status Administrative Leave[1]

Incident Reports

2019 Death of Danquirs Franklin

Full Video Of Police Shooting Of Danquirs Franklin

On March 25, 2019, Franklin got into a heated argument with the mother of his children at a fast food restaurant. Police were called and told that Franklin had a gun.[3]

Kerl and Officer Larry Deal responded and found Franklin in the parking lot, less agitated, and with his gun in his jacket pocket.[3]

The officers gave Franklin conflicting commands to both show his hands and drop the gun. Franklin slowly removed the gun from his pocket and was lowering it to the ground when Kerl fired.[3]

Both officers and a witness gave conflicting accounts of where the gun's barrel was pointed at the time of the shooting; Kerl was unsure, Deal thought it was pointed at Kerl, and a witness said that the barrel was pointed at the ground.[4]

Officers did not render aid after the shooting. Paramedics arrived in approximately four minutes. Franklin died at the hospital.[1]

The incident was captured on the restaurant's surveillance cameras, a witness's cell-phone camera, and Kerl's body-worn camera.[3] Deal did not turn on his body-worn camera.[1]

Response Timeline

Kerl was placed on paid administrative leave.[1]

On April 15, 2019, the department released a portion of the body-worn camera video.[1]

On August 14, 2019, the District Attorney declined to prosecute Kerl, claiming that he could not prove that Kerl had been unreasonable in her belief that Franklin was a threat.[3][5]

The department determined that the shooting was justified, and did not discipline Kerl.[3]

On April 24, 2019, following a judge's order, the department released the entire video from Kerl's body-worn camera.[1]

The city's Citizens Review Board concluded that the department had "clearly erred" in not punishing Kerl.[3]

In 2020, Franklin's family filed a civil lawsuit.[3]

In November 2020, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the case, granted Kerl qualified immunity, and determined that the shooting was reasonable.[3]

The family appealed, and a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated the case based on the seriousness of Kerl's mistakes, including overreacting, not determining what Franklin's state was, and shouting so loudly that they could not hear Franklin. The judges determined that Franklin did not pose "an imminent threat" that would have justified shooting him, and that Kerl had violated Franklin's Fourth Amendment rights.[3]

On July 13, 2023, the city settled the family's lawsuit for $1.5 million shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin.[3]

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