On August 23, 2019 Meckleburg County District Attorney Spencer B. Merriweather announced his intention to seek independent investigations of all future officer-involved shootings that result in a fatality or serious injury.
Merriweather made a horrible decision not to charge the officer that killed a black man in a Burger King parking lot. Video shows the man was in the process of dropping the gun when Officer Wende Kerl shot and killed him.
Merriweather is requesting the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation to conduct the criminal investigations of such incidents in Mecklenburg County. This new policy will take effect as soon as a protocol is developed that addresses many operational concerns, including standard procedures enabling local police to secure the scene until State Bureau of Investigation investigators can arrive to assume command of the investigation.
When the State Bureau of Investigation completes its investigation of an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigation will turn over the investigation to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether the evidence supports criminal charges.
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Presently, every police department in Mecklenburg County, except the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, already turns over the investigation of officer involved shootings to the State Bureau of Investigation. This move will now ensure that an independent authority will similarly investigate all officer-involved shootings within Mecklenburg County.