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On September 14, 2013 in Charlotte, NC, a 24-year old former Florida A&M football player was shot 10 times by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer. Jonathan Ferrell was in the process of trying to get help after a car accident. According to the Charlotte Observer, this is what happened.

A year ago Sunday, Jonathan Ferrell wrecked his car on an unfamiliar road. A toxicology report showed no signs drugs, and while he had been drinking he was not drunk. He escaped the car barefoot and without his cellphone. He sought help at a nearby house, but his late-night and urgent knocking frightened the woman inside.

He then ran up to three Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers who had responded to the woman’s 911 call. Moments later, he was dead, and for the first time in at least 30 years, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer was charged with a crime in connection with an on-duty shooting.

Wes Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter three days after the incident. In January 2014, he was indicted by a second grand jury that had been convened. The first panel declined to indict and suggested that the prosecutors come back with a lesser charge. He will go on trial next year. Jonathan Ferrell’s mother has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. The family still has many questions that aren’t answered because none of the evidence has been released.

The other officers, both African-American and with more experience than Kerrick, did not pull their guns. Their accounts of the shooting remain sealed.

So does the 20-second dash-cam video, which reportedly captured the moments leading up to the shooting. City officials say Monroe ordered Kerrick’s arrest after he and his top staff watched the footage. A judge has given the attorney general’s office control on when and whether it is released.

Those questions are likely to remain unanswered until the trial. Although the judge has not banned the release, the attorney general’s office has refused to do so.


One Response

  1. Jesse

    I wonder what his non-lethal options were and why he felt threatened when others didn’t ? Why shoot 10 X. Must have been some reason to check his blood for alcohol and drugs. So many my mind. Excessive force probably. How long on force, how long on the street ? How much experience in these type of situations ? How was his patience on dealing with adversity? Was he a rookie. Where was his supervisor ? They got a call of a mad man or someone breaking into a house. This is why the 1st grand jury came back with what they did. I really feel for the victim’s family also. Bad situation all the way around. No one really wins.


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