A grand jury yesterday indicted Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick on a count of voluntary manslaughter, for his role in the Sept. 14 death of Jonathan Ferrell. Kerrick fired 12 shots, hitting the unarmed Ferrell 10 times, as he sought help after a car accident.
Ferrell, a former safety at Florida A&M, had recently moved to Charlotte, gotten engaged, and was working two jobs in retail when he drove his car off the road around 2 a.m. After kicking out the rear window and extracting himself from the car, he knocked on the door of the first house he saw—and the woman inside called police, saying a black man was trying to break into her home. Kerrick was one of three officers who responded. A dashboard camera in their patrol car captured what happened next:
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.
If convicted, Kerrick faces a maximum of 11 years in prison.
Below, our September story on the shooting.