Police

Brickbat: We're Here to Help

|

Officials in North Carolina, have charged Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick with manslaughter for shooting and killing an unarmed man who may have been seeking help. Officers responded to a report of an attempted breaking and entering and found Jonathan Ferrell nearby. Ferrell matched the description of the suspect, but when officers approached him, Ferrell allegedly ran at them. Another officer Tasered Ferrell, but that didn't stop him. Kerrick fired his weapon and struck Ferrell several times. Officers later found a wrecked car down a nearby embankment. They believe Ferrell had been driving the car.

NEXT: Obama: The Economy's So Swell, It's the Republicans' Fault

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Look, recycling is great and all, but this is going too far.

  2. …for shooing and killing an unarmed man who may have been seeking help.

    When they shoo out the clowns, that means things are about to turn serious.

  3. I once had a cop tell me that if you ever shoot anyone, demand to have a trial. Even if the DA decides no crime was committed there is no statute of limitations on murder and you have no idea who will be DA in the future or how they might view things.

    This could be a case of that strategy being used…try the guy and have him found not guilty so he cant be charged in the future.

    I did explain to the cop that DAs these days are not constrained by acquittals as they simply come up with different charges effectively practicing double, triple, quadruple jeopardy until they nail you on something.

    1. Or they just have the Feds take the case, for some type of Federal Civil Rights violation. That almost always seems to work. Let’s all brainstorm about why that is.

      1. Serious question, how often does this actually happen? There was talk of the Feds going after Zimmerman but nothing really concrete so far.

        1. For civil rights charges? Probably not that terribly often. But the feds do get a second crack at you for major felonies, rendering double jeopardy effectively meaningless.

        2. It’s fairly rare, but happens.

          The ACLU officially opposes it, though the group has had a power struggle between the pure civil liberties types and the more ends-justify-the-liberal-means-just-this-once types with both Rodney King and George Zimmerman, initially calling for a fed prosecution, then retracting.

    2. I once had a cop tell me that if you ever shoot anyone, demand to have a trial. Even if the DA decides no crime was committed there is no statute of limitations on murder and you have no idea who will be DA in the future or how they might view things.

      Um, you can’t have a trial unless you are charged or indicted. Tell the walloper to stick to shooting dogs and writing tickets, his law-fu is off.

      1. Well, it can be reasonable advice in the case of “if the current DA is your friend and has decided that no crime was committed and you’re reasonably sure he’ll cooperate and put up a bad case, then go ahead and go through the motions and win an acquittal, since you never know who the new DA will be.”

  4. The most surprising thing about this case to me is that the officer actually managed to hit the guy. Usually the report reads something like “278 rounds were fired. Suspect was struck once in the hand”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.