POLICE BRUTALITY: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot an unarmed man, Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, multiple times Saturday. Police believe Ferrell may have been looking for help after an automobile accident. Officer Kerrick tasered and shot him multiple times as he ran towards him, CBS News reports. Kerrick fired 12 shots from his service weapon with 10 hitting Ferrell. Why did he have to discharge his gun so many times?
A statement issued by police said officers responded to a breaking and entering call on the city’s east side around 2:30 a.m. Someone had knocked on the door of a residence, and the homeowner opened the door, thinking it was her husband. When she discovered it wasn’t, she closed the door and called 911. When officers arrived, they found Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, a short distance from the home, and he matched a description given by the homeowner, police said.
The statement said officers approached Ferrell to investigate the original call. Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Ferrell continued to run toward police when Officer Randall Kerrick fired his weapon, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators said they think a wrecked car discovered down an embankment in nearby woods may have been driven by Ferrell, and investigators say he may have been trying to get help from the resident who called 911. Source: ABC News
Jonathan Ferrell was a former Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) football player who had recently moved from Tallahassee to Charlotte. Randall Kerrick has been with the CMPD since April 2011. Two other officers who were at the scene have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting. It’s a shame that yet another black man, who didn’t break the law, was gunned down.
How many more times do we have to read about police officers using excessive force when they apprehend people? It seems more often than not, it’s during an encounter with a black male. This is such a travesty. I don’t blame the homeowner for calling police since a stranger knocked on her door at 2:30 a.m. but I do fault Officer Randall Kerrick for going crazy and firing his weapon so many times. There were three officers on the scene, surely they could have found out what Ferrell was doing in the neighborhood at that time before discharging his weapon.
Visit Think Progress to see a picture of Jonathan Ferrell’s heavily damaged pickup truck. The other two officers who were present at the scene have identified as Thornell Little, who joined the department in April 1998 and Adam Neal, who’s been an officer since May 2008.