CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fraternal Order of Police is criticizing Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ response to Wednesday night's deadly officer-involved shooting.
Shortly after the shooting, Roberts tweeted that she spoke to other city leaders and, "We are working together with the chief to make sure there is a full and transparent investigation. My heart breaks for the family."
In response, the FOP issued a statement, saying, in part, "We appreciate that you commented early about the incident, but to ensure that there is a thorough and transparent investigation leads one to believe that there is not much confidence in the ability of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to do their job properly."
Roberts issued another tweet about eight hours later, saying that she'd spoken with Chief Kerr Putney and conveyed her support for the officers’ families.
Investigators said both officers involved in the deadly shooting were wearing body cameras and the video could be released.
CMPD said Rueben Galindo called 911 Wednesday night on their language line and told an operator in Spanish that he had a gun. When officers arrived at the scene on Prospect Drive in northeast Charlotte, they ordered Galindo to drop the gun.
They said he refused, and that’s when the two officers shot and killed him.
Some people who live in the community believe Galindo may not have understood the officers' orders.
“The neighborhood has pretty much said a cop shot someone through miscommunication,” neighbor Jeffery Colon told Channel 9. “There was a gun thrown on the floor and someone got shot.”
Both officers are on paid leave, which is routine in officer-involved shootings.
Below is the Fraternal Order of Police president's full letter:
I wanted to inform you that a number of members from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 have concerns with the initial statement you made last night (early this morning) concerning the officer involved shooting on Prospect Drive.
We appreciate that you commented early about the incident and the concern you have for the City of Charlotte, but to ensure that there is a thorough and transparent investigation leads one to believe that there is not much confidence in the ability of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (Homicide Unit and Internal Affairs) to do their job properly.
There was also criticism about the comment you made about how your heart breaks for “the family.” We’re sure that you meant that comment to include all families involved, not just the deceased. The officers that were forced into that situation and were made to make a split second decision should have your
sympathy, for sure.
Now, we understand that you sent out another statement about eight hours later that you have spoken with Chief Putney and conveyed your support for the officers and their families, which we greatly appreciate, but the initial comments stirred up a great deal of resentment towards you.
I just wanted to inform you about the comments I have been receiving all day in case you get any statements from our members.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP Lodge 9
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