Jonathan Ferrell is seen here in a photograph provided by Florida A&M University (Image credit: Florida A&M University)
Multiple groups in North Carolina have called for the release of video evidence from the scene where an unarmed 24-year-old former college football player was shot 10 times.
Early Saturday morning Randall Kerrick, a Charlotte police officer, was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of Jonathan Ferrell and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
Kerrick reportedly fired on Ferrell 10 times, striking him 10 times, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department statement issued Monday.
Leaders of local civil rights organizations called for increased police oversight by citizens along with the release of critical footage, according to NBC News.
The incident that led to Ferrell’s killing began around 2:30 a.m. Saturday when he began knocking on the door of a woman’s home in suburban Charlotte.
The woman dialed 911, ignorant of the fact that Ferrell was apparently attempting to get help after he crashed his car in the woods nearby.
Three police officers responded to the call. Ferrell ran towards the officers as they exited their vehicles, leading to one officer unsuccessfully attempting to fire his Taser at Ferrell before Kerrick opened fire.
Kerrick fired on Ferrell, killing him on the spot. Police did not discover Ferrell’s car until later in the morning.
“It was a pretty serious accident,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said to CNN affiliate WSOC.
The crash was severe enough that authorities believe Ferrell had to climb out of the back window of his car, according to CNN. He then ran to the nearest house.
Speaking of the killing of Ferrell, who was African American, Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said it was not an anomaly.
“Any day in this country, an African-American man can be killed for no reason by the people who are supposed to be protecting him,” Nantambu said. “That’s not an anomaly in this country.”
Kerrick reportedly worked as an animal control officer in Charlotte in 2010 and was promoted to police recruit in 2011.
He was reportedly suspended for a day in 2012 but a police spokesman would not give reporters more information about why he was suspended.
“Clearly this is someone who did not have the necessary intelligence, discernment or compassion to walk the streets of Charlotte with a handgun, let alone a badge,” Chris Chestnut, the Ferrell family’s attorney, said.
The North Carolina chapter of the ACLU and others called on Charlotte to bolster their citizens review board, a body which “is tasked with investigating complaints against police but has never ruled against the police department,” according to NBC.
The ACLU has also called on the police department to release all of the video footage recorded during the police response.
Last month, Charlotte police began a new program testing cameras placed on the bodies of officers instead of on the dashboards of squad cars. If the footage is turned over, it could give a great deal of insight into the event.
Kerrick turned himself in on Saturday afternoon and was released on $50,000 bond on Sunday. He was originally slated to be arraigned on Monday but it was changed to Tuesday without explanation.
While the family is reportedly going to consider legal options after a thorough review of the case, Ferrell’s mother said she is praying for Kerrick.
“You took a piece out of my heart that never can be put back,” she said. “But I forgive you.”
Interestingly, the Associated Press ran with the first part of the quote from Ferrell’s mother Georgia but chose not to print the fact that she said she forgave his killer until much later in the story.
“I truly forgive him. I pray for him. And I pray that he gets off the police force,” she said, according to the AP.
Ferrell, who played football at Florida A&M University would be 25 next month and was engaged. He moved to Charlotte in 2012 to be with his fiancée.
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