After surviving a late night car crash and escaping his wrecked automobile, 24 year old Jonathan Ferrell attempted to find help at a nearby Charlotte, North Carolina house. Ferrell was then shot to death outside the home early Saturday morning by Charlotte-Mecklenburg law enforcement.
For the victim’s family the death came as an inexplicable tragedy. According to police, Randall Kerrick, the officer responsible for Ferrell’s death had no legitimate reason for shooting the victim. Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter, a felony. He was released Sunday on $50,000 bond.
Police say they responded to a 911 call placed by a homeowner who claimed a man, Ferrell, was knocking incessantly on their door. When police arrived at the scene of what they believed to be a “breaking and entering” situation, a man fitting the description of the “suspect” ran toward them. After one officer unsuccessfully used a Taser on Ferrell, another officer began firing at the victim. Ferrell died at the scene from multiple gunshots to the chest. Police chief Rodney Monroe made a comment to CNN, saying, “It was a pretty serious accident.”
However, for the family of the victim this incident was more than a serious accident. Willie Ferrell, the victim’s brother, told CNN, “We are going to file the necessary legal actions to ensure that we get the answers that this family deserves, that America deserves. This was an unwarranted, inhumane shooting.”
Chris Chestnutt, the Ferrell family attorney, still has many questions of Charlotte police, “Why was this officer even with a badge and having a gun? What are the policies and procedures? What is the training that would allow the officer to act so irrationally, so inhumanely?” he commented to CNN.
Race is a very relevant topic in the ongoing investigation. The president of the NAACP in Charlotte, Kojo Nantambu, stated that there is, “a tradition in this country to be able to kill innocent black men.”
Jonathan Ferrell formerly played football for Florida A&M University but was in the process of transferring schools to be nearer to his fiancé. The victim’s mother, Georgia Ferrell, says she forgives Kerrick and continues to pray for him.