A federal lawsuit over a 2019 police killing of Danquirs Franklin outside a Burger King in Charlotte may be heard by a jury.
In a unanimous reversal Tuesday, three judges from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision last year that granted immunity to Wende Kerl, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer who fatally shot Franklin.
In his November 2022 decision to dismiss the complaint filed by Franklin’s mother, Deborah, Senior U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen said Kerl likely made a mistake when she fatally shot Franklin on March 25, 2019, the Charlotte Observer reports.
“But because a court must not judge (police actions) with the ‘20/20 vision of hindsight,’ the question is whether Officer Kerl’s mistake in shooting Franklin was reasonable. The answer is yes,” Mullen wrote.
Unlike Mullen, however, the three judges from the country’s second highest court said those errors were so serious that they disqualified Kerl from receiving the qualified immunity that Mullen had granted.