A county grand jury has indicted a Charlotte, N.C., police officer on a voluntary manslaughter charge for shooting and killing an unarmed former Florida A&M football player who sought help after he crashed his car late at night in a residential neighborhood in September.
Officer Randall Kerrick, 28, a former animal control officer with three years of police experience, fired 12 shots at 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell just after 2 a.m. Sept. 14, striking him with 10 bullets on a residential Charlotte street. Ferrell had crashed his car nearby and then knocked on a door in search of assistance, according to police reports.
Inside, a woman home alone with her year-old child became alarmed and called 911. The woman, who is white, told the operator a black man was trying to break in.
The woman appears to have over-reacted, but she wasn’t remotely responsible for what happened when a gaggle of police arrived and Officer Randall Kerrick (and Kerrick alone) fired 12 shots at the already wounded Ferrell, striking him ten times.
Bizarrely, this was the second attempt to indict Kerrick before a grand jury. A grand jury in the county refused to indict him last week despite the seemingly overwhelming evidence in the case that caused the Charlotte Police to arrest him just 48 hours after the shooting.
I hate to say it, but this case is going to have political overtones, when it really shouldn’t. Kerrick is white and Ferrell was black which adds a bit of racial tension to the case, but I’m more concerned over NC Attorney General Roy Cooper using the case for political grandstanding as he tries to position himself for a run at the NC Governor’s office in 2016.