• Activists push for body camera changes after deadly police shooting in north Charlotte

    By: Glenn Counts


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There is a new push to improve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's body cameras, five days after a deadly police shooting in north Charlotte sparked outage. 

    The push is for upgraded body cameras with new technology that would automatically turn the cameras on without action from the officer. 

    [ALSO READ: Leaders call for calm after CMPD releases body cam video of deadly shooting]

    In last month's deadly police shooting, Officer Wende Kerl had turned on her body camera, but it is unclear if her partner was wearing any or failed to activate it. 

    Robert Dawkins is with the SAFE Coalition, which has been pushing for a new technical upgrade to police-worn body cameras. 

    "It would not have been up to an officer to cut the camera on," Dawkins said. "We think we would have gotten more footage, so now we're asking again. We believe there should be levels of accountability and this is the most aggregious in terms of transparency." 

    In 2017, Channel 9 reported on technology where if an officer turns on blue lights or pulls his taser or gun, his or her body camera would automatically click on. 

    [RELATED: CMPD releases names of officer, armed man in deadly confrontation]

    The new technology would take it one step further -- every officer who responds to a scene, their  cameras will turn on automatically with no action from the officer. 

    Axion, the company that make sthe equipment, used CMPD to test it and it got high marks, but according to officials, that has been the end of communications between the department and the company. 

    "Since then, it's been radio silence," Dawkins said. "In light of the last shooting of Mr. Franklin, the lack of having other body cameras, we would have known with these holster monitors if the other cameras had been activated." 

    Channel 9's Glenn Counts has contacted CMPD to ask why there was a delay. 

    A number of departments across the country have already deployed the technology including Virginia Beach, Memphis, Fort Worth in Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. 

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