Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney is going to be more transparent regarding police video and ask for independent review of department. Putney has been under intense pressure following the officer-involved fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott a couple of weeks ago.
After finally succumbing to pressure, Putney released more footage from the Sept. 20 shooting on Tuesday night. He initially only released a couple of minutes of footage.
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In response to the scrutiny, Putney is inviting the Police Foundation, an independent, non-governmental research organization based in Washington D.C., to review CMPD’s policies and procedures, as well as, its relationship with the community it serves.
The Foundation will also review how CMPD’s handled Sept. 20 incident, as well as the department’s relationship with the community prior to last month. The assessment will include input from a diverse group of community members, and will result in recommendations for moving forward, according to a statement.
“It’s time not only to start healing, but to get to work on finding solutions that maintain and build trust between our officers and our community,” said Police Chief Kerr Putney.
Putney and his team are also carefully reviewing the various recommendations that have been presented to him by interest and advocacy groups.
He committed to the following steps:
· Solidify and make public the department’s procedure for releasing body worn camera footage, so there is a consistent and transparent process moving forward.
· Continue making preparations to equip tactical officers with body worn cameras. Patrol officers and tactical officers will wear body worn cameras both while working on and off duty assignments, as soon as additional cameras are purchased and officers are trained.
· Continue discussing the possibility of subpoena powers for the Citizens Review Board with its External Advisory Committee. Note: This change would require legislative action.
· Review policies, procedures and training related to de-escalation techniques. We will continue to refine our response to protest situations, emphasizing communication with lawful protesters through the use of bicycle and regularly-uniformed officers. CMPD will continue to authorize the use of protective equipment only in response to violence, property damage and non-compliance.
“We are open to making changes in how we do business. But I will not make impulsive decisions in response to demands,” Putney said. “Any changes we make in our policies or procedures will be thoroughly, deliberately and thoughtfully considered.”