Hearing Delayed For CLT Officer Involved In Shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A hearing has been postponed for a Charlotte police officer accused of shooting an unarmed man 10 times after he was in a car crash.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Randall Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player.
A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Monday, but was postponed until Dec. 17 to give the North Carolina Attorney General’s office more time to review the evidence. The attorney general’s office is investigating the shooting, spokeswoman Noelle Talley said Monday.
Kerrick, 27, has been released on $50,000 bond. He is being represented by George Laughrun and Michael Greene, who were hired by the Fraternal Order of Police.
Kerrick was not in court Monday, but his lawyers agreed to the delay.
Police have said Ferrell may have been seeking help after a wreck when he went to a home and knocked on the door, frightening a woman who called 911 because she thought he was trying to break into her home.
Representatives of the Charlotte chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have questioned whether race played a role in the shooting. Kerrick is white, and Ferrell is black.
Ferrell’s family said he moved to Charlotte about a year ago to be with his fiancee and was working two jobs. He wanted to go back to school and eventually become an automotive engineer, they said. He had no criminal record.
After crashing his car into trees at 2:30 a.m. Sept. 14, Ferrell kicked out the back window and headed up a hill to the first set of closely clustered houses he could see. He then started “banging on the door viciously” of a home to attract attention, police Chief Rodney Monroe has said.
Kerrick and two other officers responding to the breaking-and-entering call found Ferrell on a road that only leads to the neighborhood’s pool. Ferrell ran toward the officers, who tried to stop him with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them and Kerrick fired 12 shots, hitting Ferrell with all but two. Ferrell died at the scene.
Kerrick’s attorneys have said the shooting was justified because Ferrell didn’t obey the verbal commands to stop. But the attorney for Ferrell’s family said the shots were fired in such close proximity that they never gave Ferrell a chance to respond.
After Kerrick was charged, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray requested help from the state attorney general’s office because before he was elected, Murray was a partner in the law firm representing the officer and he didn’t want to give the appearance of impropriety.
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