Police

Manslaughter Trial Begins for North Carolina Cop in 2013 Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

Randall Kerrick shot Jonathan Ferrell 10 times. Even Kerrick's former chief called it "excessive." Now he stands trial.

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Randall Kerrick
Mecklenburg County Sheriff file photo

Some police officers who fatally shoot unarmed suspects are never disciplined, but no such luck for the North Carolina cop charged with voluntary manslaughter in the 2013 shooting death of a young black man.

Jury selection in the trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick began this week.

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Kerrick, 29, is charged in the Sept. 14, 2013, death of Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old former college football player who had wrecked his car after giving a friend a late-night ride home. Prosecutors say Ferrell went to a nearby home to get help. A woman inside called 911, fearing he was trying to break in. Three officers responded.

Defense attorneys say that in the resulting confrontation, Ferrell ignored repeated police orders and charged at Kerrick, who shot him 10 times. The defense team describes the shooting as "tragic but justified."

Two other CMPD officers joined Kerrick in responding to the 911 call. According to Reuters, "The other two officers involved in the case, who are black and were more experienced than Kerrick, did not draw their weapons." Meanwhile, Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell.

Back in May, Kerrick's attorneys tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that the officers believed Ferrell was on drugs (and in a "zombie-like" state) at the time of the shooting. WSOCTV reported that, according to the motion, "police sent some of Ferrell's blood off to have it examined by an independent laboratory, but did not ask that laboratory to keep that blood sample even though they knew it would be destroyed after six weeks."

Although a state medical examiner found no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Ferrell's system, the toxicology tests allegedly didn't look for "THC, LSD or other hallucinogens"—tests that, the defense argued, would be crucial to substantiating Kerrick's self-defense claim. The judge rejected the motion.

Outrage sparked by the absence of indictments in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner has made police departments wary about not appearing to take these types of cases seriously enough. Officers in South Carolina and Baltimore have since faced charges in the deaths of Walter Scott and Freddie Gray, respectively.

What makes the Charlotte-Mecklenburg case different is the timing. Kerrick shot and killed Ferrell almost a year before Michael Brown's death, but unlike Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Kerrick was charged almost immediately after the incident.

He will get his day in court, but even "then-Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who has since retired, said Kerrick had used excessive force and that the facts of the case warranted his arrest," per Reuters.

The city of Charlotte reached a $2.25 million settlement with Ferrell's family in May.

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  1. “Kerrick’s attorneys tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that the officers believed Ferrell was on drugs (and in a “zombie-like” state) at the time of the shooting.”

    So if you have a concussion, the cops can summarily execute you. Got it.

    1. “He looked like he was on drugs” seems to be the default excuse for fatal police encounters. And not surprisingly, it often ends up being the case that the victim wasn’t on drugs.

      Cops are either 1) really bad at identifying the effects of drugs or 2) really good at playing off the public’s fear of drugs.

        1. Yeah… it’s probably both.

  2. Is it just me, or does it seem that the South – despite being populated with nothing but White Supremacist Rethuglicans – is far more likely to take abusive cops to trial than other regions?

    1. I have actually thought about this. Many cons, even those of the more, shall we say, “redneck” variety may harbor some negative feelings toward other races or religions. However, in today’s world, they also are more willing to look past that when there is an individual at stake. In other words, along the lines of “I don’t care for blacks, but I work with one and he is a pretty good guy.”
      Whereas leftists say they love humanity, but hate individuals.

      Shorter:
      Leans right: humanity (or even substitute a sub-group) sucks, but there are great individuals
      Leftist: humanity (or substitute a sub-group) is wonderful, but hates actual people

    2. Or perhaps police departments in southern states enjoy fewer union privileges than their counterparts outside the south.

      1. one could even posit, as it were, that there is a causal effect between public safety unions and public safety justice…

  3. Although a state medical examiner found no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Ferrell’s system, the toxicology tests allegedly didn’t look for “THC, LSD or other hallucinogens”?tests that, the defense argued, would be crucial to substantiating Kerrick’s self-defense claim.

    Leaving aside that this wording implies THC is a hallucinogen, am I really supposed to believe they tested for drugs but not pot?

    1. They just tested for the zombifying drugs?you know, bath salts.

    2. The middle reliever at the forensics lab is covering the DA’s ass

  4. “Kerrick’s attorneys tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that the officers believed Ferrell was on drugs (and in a “zombie-like” state) at the time of the shooting.”

    If I were sitting on the jury, and I thought that the officer believed Ferrell was in a “zombie-like” state, that would count for the prosecution rather than the defense.

    Why would you shoot someone in a “zombie-like” state?

    1. Presumably it was a “28 Days Later” zombie-like state, not a “Dawn of the Dead” zombie-like state.

      1. Actually the remake Dawn of the Dead were also fast. But unlike 28 Days Later, the zombies were actually dead.
        World War Z (the movie not the book) zombies were even worse. Changed in like 12 seconds after being bit. Then they ran fast, too.

    2. *throws away bottle of ambien*

      1. Shit maybe we should all be issued hydrocodone. I am totally mellow and quite a hoot when I am on Vicadin!

    3. Because that indicates that they are on drugs which is enough to make a reasonable person fear for their life.

      1. He could have been hopped up on a marijuana cigarettes.

        1. Not to mention the effects of prolonged exposure to “the raps”.

  5. no such luck for the North Carolina cop charged with voluntary manslaughter in the 2013 shooting death of a young black man

    Voluntary manslaughter? Undercharged, throw it out /judge

  6. The system works, you cop-hating bigorati.

    BOOYAH!

  7. …even “then-Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who has since retired, said Kerrick had used excessive force and that the facts of the case warranted his arrest,” per Reuters.

    Something seems off here. I’m suspicious that maybe Randall Kerrick was not well liked and that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police wanted rid of him. Nothing else I can see explains the swift conclusion by authorities that Kerrick did something wrong in shooting and killing an unarmed, injured man seeking help.

  8. So, the usual Cop-Industrial Complex move of having the lab destroy the sample so the defendant can’t retest it later backfired on them, because the defendant is a member of the Cop-Industrial Complex.

    Boo-fucking-hoo. Glad the judge denied the motion, although I was surprised as judges, being members in good standing of the Cop-Industrial Complex, rarely miss a technicality when the defendant is a fellow member.

  9. Music festivals would be death camps if the mindset of Kerrick’s attorneys is even remotely entertained.

    1. AC, got something you might enjoy. Check out Molyneux’s best rant to date.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yv9aJiVVLg

  10. Long time lurker. Signing up for the lurkathon. I know a day late and a dollar short

  11. Only have phone access to intertubes so will not be commenting much.

  12. Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell.

    Clearly he wasn’t in fear for his life, otherwise he only would have only hit him once, maybe twice tops. The other shots would have ended up going into the house of the person who called the cops, possibly striking someone else. Then the cops would have used that as an excuse to enter the house and search it for drugs. “Procedures were followed.”

    1. No, no, no. The other cops would have seen the shooter blasting away at the house, and opened fire on it themselves.

  13. If the labs didn’t test for THC, what did they test for? Krokodil and Jerken?

  14. How the hell did he shoot 12 times at point blank range and only hit with 10? What kind of policeman was this? I’m not even a cop and I’d have more success than this tard.

    Looking at his picture, he’s going to have a lot of boyfriends in jail. He’ll be zombie like after awhile

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