​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Process

In an effort to help educate the community in understanding the methods involved and timing associated with the release of information in an officer-involved shooting, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) explains this process as well as the body worn camera video release procedure. ​​​​
“When an officer fires a weapon, two parallel investigations​ take place, each involving multiple steps,” said CMPD Chief Kerr Putney. “It is important to tell the public what has occurred. But two things must be considered:

  1. the integrity of these active investigations is paramount.

  2. ​ CMPD does not have the authority to release certain information, such as body worn camera video, without authorization from a superior court judge.”

The administrative and criminal investigations are launched simultaneously.

  • ​​ Administrative investigation: The officer’s actions are reviewed by the Internal Affairs Bureau to determine if he or she followed department policies and procedures during the incident.

  • Criminal investigation: The officer’s actions are reviewed by the CMPD Officer-Involved Shooting Team, the State Medical Examiner’s Office and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.

  • Body worn camera video: The review of body worn camera video captured during the incident is part of these investigations. State law prohibits CMPD from releasing BWC camera video without authorization from a superior court judge. Anyone in the community may petition a judge for the release of the video. The judge then determines if and when the release takes place.

    • Note: This piece of the investigation is considered along with witness interviews, evidence gathered and reviewed and more before an outcome is determined.

For more information on OIS statistics, visit our Open Data portal for a breakdown of OIS shootings by Incidents, Individuals and Officers.

Please check back soon as we are revamping our procedures to align with the SBI’s new process for officer-involved shootings.