'Oh My God a Black Man Knocked on My Door!' (The Perils of Depending on White People for Justice): 2nd Grand jury Indicts White Charlotte Cop for Shooting Unarmed Black Man while on his Knees
Expect Racism. Not Justice. From [HERE] A Mecklenburg County grand jury indicted a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, Randall Kerrick, 28 on voluntary manslaughter charges in the deadly shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jonathan Ferrell.
It was the second time a grand jury had heard the case. The first panel, which convened a week ago, did not indict the officer, but suggested instead that prosecutors come back with a lesser charge. Community outrage was strong. Roy Cooper (in photo- suit), the attorney general and a likely Democratic candidate for governor, decided to present the case again, this time with four witnesses instead of two, and to a full panel of 18 jurors instead of 14.
Kerrick shot the unarmed Black man 10 times in a brief and violent confrontation on Reedy Creek Road. Ferrell had wrecked his car and apparently was seeking help; Kerrick was responding to a 911 call from a nearby white resident frightened by a late-night stranger (black man) at her door, who was seeking help.
Although the proceedings are secret, lawyers for the family said there was a good probability that the jurors saw footage of the shooting taken from a patrol car that night — something the family has not been allowed to view.
What they saw, according to people who have seen the video, was a 24-year-old man who was approaching officers with his hands outstretched. In the confusion, it is difficult to discern whether the bullets or commands from the officers came first. Either way, according to one lawyer who has seen the video, there was little time for Mr. Ferrell to respond.
Just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 14, Mr. Ferrell was dropping off a work colleague in Bradfield Farm, a subdivision with tennis courts and a swimming pool 17 miles east of downtown Charlotte.
On a particularly dark stretch of road, Mr. Ferrell drove down an embankment. The car was so damaged he had to kick out the rear window to free himself.
Unable to find his cellphone, he stumbled to the first house he found and knocked, according to the lawsuit and police reports. Inside, a white woman (Sarah McCartney, 32 - in photo) panicked and called 911. A black man, she said, was trying to break in. (The large house is part of the Bradfield Farm estate, 17 miles east of Charlotte. It is a rich, white community of well-manicured two-story homes, it also has four tennis courts, two swimming pools and a clubhouse. New and resale houses are available in the $110,000 - $230,000 range.)
'A Black Male is at My Door. Boo Hoo!'
Three officers arrived 11 minutes later. Mr. Ferrell had left the house and was on a street that led to the community pool. Rodney Monroe, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, said Mr. Ferrell charged toward the officers and refused orders to stop. One officer fired a Taser, which missed its target.
Officer Kerrick then fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Mr. Ferrell. Most of the shots came when the two men were only a few feet apart, police said. The other two officers apparently never even drew their guns (b/c it was not reasonable to do so). Autopsy results included in the lawsuit show the bullets entered his body and traveled downward, which the family claims to show Mr. Ferrell was already on his knees or lying on the ground when he was shot. Officers then handcuffed him.
The family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, naming the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Officer Kerrick and Chief Monroe. Chris Chestnut, a family lawyer based in Atlanta, hopes the suit will force the department to provide more information about the shooting, including the police video, and prompt improvements in a department that has a long history of citizen complaints about the use of excessive force.