Cop who fatally shot man at a Charlotte Burger King returns to full duty, CMPD says

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who fatally shot a man at a Burger King in northwest Charlotte in March has returned to “full duty,” a CMPD spokesman said Friday.

Officer Wende Kerl is assigned to a “non-patrol, investigative assignment out of CMPD headquarters,” spokesman Rob Tufano said.

Kerl had been on administrative leave and then administrative assignment since the shooting of Danquirs Franklin. Franklin’s death sparked protests outside the Burger King and before City Council.

Kerl shot Franklin multiple times, according to police and the 27-year-old Charlotte man’s autopsy.

In August, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather announced that Kerl would not be charged in Franklin’s death.

In a video recorded by her body camera, Franklin seemed to be lowering a gun toward the ground when Kerl shot him, the Observer previously reported. She was responding to 911 calls about a man with a gun behaving in a threatening way at the Burger King.

Kerl told investigators that just before she shot Franklin, she saw him pull out a gun, and she believed he was on his way toward pointing the gun toward someone at the scene when she fired her weapon, the Observer previously reported. Franklin was near a parked car with someone sitting in it, so officers said they were worried for that person’s safety along with their own safety.

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney has told reporters that detectives conducted a thorough and “very objective” investigation into their colleague’s actions.

“The determination was that it was ... actually within the parameters of law,” he said.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.