A police officer in Charlotte, N.C. has been charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting and killing an unarmed man who was running toward
police after being involved in a car crash, CNN reports.
Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers were responding Saturday morning to a call of possible breaking-and-entering after a homeowner called 911 to report a man banging on the front door. That man was 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, who after just being involved in a car accident a half-mile away, walked to the nearest house for help.
From Charlotte Observer:
The three officers from the Hickory Grove division who responded to the scene came across a man matching the description of the possible suspect, and they surrounded him. The man “immediately charged” at the police, Monroe said.
Officer Thornell Little unsuccessfully fired his Taser at Ferrell, who continued to run toward them, police said in a statement. Kerrick then fired several rounds at Ferrell, who was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Although police initially deemed the shooting “appropriate and lawful” due to Ferrell moving towards the officers, the use of deadly force in the incident was deemed “excessive,” according to the Observer.
“The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer [Randall] Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive,” police said in a statement. “Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter. “
Officer Kerrick turned himself in on Saturday and was released the next day on $US50,000 bond. All three officers involved in the incident were placed on paid leave, according to CNN.
“He is pretty shook up,” Police Chief Rodney Monroe told the Observer of Kerrick. “He’s devastated.”
The victim had recently moved to Charlotte from Florida, where he had been a football player at Florida A&M University.
Michael Smith, interim athletic director at Florida A&M, told CNN that Ferrell played safety and was part of the 2010 championship team. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during their time of bereavement,” he said.
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