Police Abuse

Cop's Lawyer Says He Shot Unarmed Motorist 10 Times in Self-Defense

Did Jonathan Ferrell attack Randall Kerrick, or was it the other way around?


Florida A&M

The dashcam video of Jonathan Ferrell's deadly 2013 encounter with police in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, has not been publicly released, lest it taint the outcome of the criminal case against Randall Kerrick, the officer who killed him. But the footage was damning enough that it convinced Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe to arrest Kerrick for voluntary manslaughter the day of the shooting, which occurred after Ferrell crashed his car early in the morning and was mistaken for a burglar when he sought help at a nearby house. The outcome of Kerrick's trial, which began yesterday, may depend on how the jury interprets that 15-second video, which Kerrick claims omits or obscures crucial details.

The prosecution and defense agree on this much: After the accident, Ferrell, a 24-year-old who had played football at Florida A&M before moving to Charlotte, escaped the wreck of his fiancée's car by kicking out the rear window. Around 2:30 a.m., he knocked on the door of Sarah McCartney, who was home with her 1-year-old son. Awakened by the knocking, McCartney initially thought it was her husband, who was working late. After opening the door and seeing a stranger, she shut the door and called police to report an intruder. When Kerrick and two other officers arrived 11 minutes later, Ferrell approached them.

During his opening argument, Deputy Attorney General Adren Harris, who was assigned to the case as a special prosecutor, said Ferrell became alarmed when one of the officers drew a Taser and aimed it at him. He ran and ducked between two cars, which was where Kerrick happened to be standing, his gun drawn. Backing up, Kerrick fired four rounds at Ferrell, and both of them fell down. Ferrell began crawling, and Kerrick fired six more rounds. Ferrell was still moving, so Kerrick shot him twice more, for a total of 12 rounds, 10 of which struck Ferrell. The cops handcuffed him, just in case. "Neither officer on the scene, while Jon is lying face down in a pool of blood, attempts to render any first aid," Harris said. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, who polices the police when they do wrong? You do."

According to defense attorney Michael J. Greene, Ferrell was belligerent from the beginning. Undeterred by a jolt from the stun gun, he attacked Kerrick and continued the assault even after the first four shots, climbing on top of him and hitting him in the face. Greene said Ferrell's DNA was found on the trigger and slide of Kerrick's gun and under the officer's fingernails, which sounds like evidence of a physical struggle but does not indicate who started it. "This case is about choices," Greene said. "Jonathan Ferrell's bad choices forced Officer Kerrick to make the ultimate choice."

During cross-examination of the first few prosecution witnesses, Greene highlighted Ferrell's drinking and pot smoking. Although Ferrell went to a bar with co-workers from Best Buy the night of the accident and shared part of a joint with one of them, the medical examiner found no evidence of marijuana in his blood and put his alcohol concentration at 0.06 percent, less than the legal cutoff for driving under the influence. A waitress testified that Ferrell had ordered two Coors Lights over the course of the evening and did not seem impaired when he left the bar.

McCartney, the woman who called the police, testified that after she "shut the door really quickly," Ferrell started "kicking and yelling" and "seemed very angry," although he did not try to enter the house. She had accidentally activated her burglar alarm when she opened the door, and he kept asking her to turn it off. She did not hear him ask for help or say anything about an accident. "I was terrified," she said. "I was worried about my child."

Ferrell was black, while McCartney and Kerrick are white, which raises the question of whether his skin color made him seem more threatening to them. "This case is not about race," Greene, who is black, said. "It never was." A lawyer for Ferrell's family, which last May reached a $2.3 million settlement with the city, seems to agree, up to a point. "I think this disproportionately affects the African American community because they disproportionately encounter police officers," Chris Chestnut told The Huffington Post last year, "but I think this is a larger problem affecting all Americans, regardless of race. There is a fundamental problem with the training of police officers."

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  1. “but I think this is a larger problem affecting all Americans, regardless of race. There is a fundamental problem with the training of police officers.”

    Yeah. That’s it. More training. On overtime of course. That will fix it. It certainly isn’t a culture of violence and unaccountability. No. It’s training. Derp da derpity doo!

    1. Well training could be part of the issue. It seems like most cops are trained to behave like any encounter with a person not wearing a uniform could be their last. There is a certain level of paranoia the training seems to instill in people.


      2. He made it home safe, didn’t he? And he connected with 10 out of 12 shots – pretty good for a cop even if the last few were just the coup de gr?ce.

        1. Two shots, center of mass. That’s standard military practice. I call that successful training!

          Wait… this isn’t the military?

      3. I think the first class they take at the Academy is War Police: How to Survive and Go Home at Night.

        1. *War on Police

          1. It works either way.

  2. Moms sue after sheriff put disabled girl, 9, and boy, 8, in HANDCUFFS for misbehaving

    Training. Yeah. That guy needs more training.

    1. You know I think some of these officers actually get sexually aroused by this shit.

    2. Don’t read the comments on that story.

      Also, that SRO is not the most physically fit person you will ever encounter.

      1. Dude, SRO’s are almost always too fat and dumb to be regular beat/patrol cops.

        1. I like to point it out when the people who have been anointed to protect others cannot take care of their own bodies.

        2. Reminds me of a story my Taekwondo instructor (who’s 62 and in better shape then most people half his age) told me about a fat shit cop he encountered once:

          He had been at a bar with his GF when some drunk asshole tried to grab her chest. After SHE beat the shit out of him (she’s a 3rd degree black belt herself) the cops were called. After this one fat shit cop started talking a big game about he “trains in MMA so he could have handled her,” he turned to the cop and said “Stuffing donuts into your fat face while watching Ultimate Fighter on TV doesn’t count as training. I mean look at you, you’re almost as wide as you are tall.” Their was another cop in ear shot who was visibily struggling not to laugh.

          I guess he’s lucky he didn’t get shot by officer Fatty McDumbshit. If there hadn’t been a crowd around he probably would have been.

    3. By “training” I assume you mean taken out back and beaten with a rubber hose.

      1. Only if it’s filled with pea gravel.

      2. Capt. O’Hagan: “In my day we’d take guys like you out back and beat you with a rubber hose, but now you’ve got your damn unions.”

        Farva: “You know, I’ve never been a pro-union guy.”

  3. “There is a fundamental problem with the training of police officers.”

  4. This guy was both black and out after dark? Well if that’s not asking to get gunned down, I don’t know what is.

  5. Medford narcotics cop on administrative leave for threatening to Blow a Hole in motorist’s head.


    1. “You’re lucky I’m a fucking cop,” LeBert says. “Cause I’d be beating the fucking piss outta you right now.”

      This, after the motorist attempted to flee a plains-clothed man screaming obscenities at him. That sentiment is why he tried to leave, you cretin.

  6. By the way could we please please please stop making all these cases about race? Bitte?

    The fucking racial narrative causes these cases to break down along tribal lines, and the real issue of a police force that acts like an occupying army gets forgotten. There is no better way to make sure that we never get police reform then making these cases about race every fucking time. All the racial narrative is, is a get out the vote program for the Democratic party.

    1. Nein.

      It’s infuriating.

    2. It’s a double edged sword. I don’t think you’re going to get much traction against the police state without help from the squeakiest wheels around. Race activists can help as much as they hurt on this one. Or maybe the other way around.

      1. Race activists are actually making things worse because focusing on race ignores the culture of violence and unaccountability which is the real problem.

        1. I agree up to a point, because I don’t think anyone would be focusing on anything if the race activists suddenly shut up.

          1. But by making it all about race instead of general hostility and unaccountability, the “solution” might very well be for the cops to be even bigger assholes to non-blacks, just to even things out.

            1. Progs want to see more dead white men. It really is that simple.

        2. Race activist want separate rules for their own races and it is already happening. Several schools in California are now allowing certain people of certain races to act any way they like without punishment for more times than in the past. BTW this is why Tryvon Martin is dead they decided he should not be punished for theft earlier. If they had acted he would have been in jail and alive today.

    3. My old con law professor won’t get off this track. Is there a racial component? Sure. But no matter how many links to white people getting murdered by cops I provide, he is so beholden to “State is God” that he refuses to budge from the racial angle and “more training.” The concept of “eliminate half of these laws that force police interaction in the first place” is alien to him.

      1. More like a “law ‘n’ order” perfesser, amirite?

        /The hangin’ judge

    4. All the racial narrative is, is a get out the vote program for the Democratic party.

      Why else do you think they do it?

  7. Hey, seriously, what else can his lawyer say? “My client was just showing the victim his gun, and it suddenly went off ten times.”?

    1. I would appreciated if the lawyer used the “my client is a craven coward” defense. At least it would be honest.

    2. “My client pleads guilty on all counts and acknowledges that he is a moral reprobate who had no business in any position of authority, let alone carrying a weapon.”

      1. Which would make the lawyer’s head explode.

  8. There is a fundamental problem with the training of police officers.

    Once you settle with the government on behalf of your clients, you’re not allowed to say any more than that about state of its policing.

  9. Looks like it’s gonna be a day of nut punches.

    1. Let’s just get them all out now.

      A Chelsea police officer currently on unpaid suspension faces arraignment this morning in Suffolk Superior Court on grand jury indictments alleging he repeatedly punched an intoxicated, handcuffed suspect in the face, and then lied about it .


      1. Off-duty trooper who shot at fleeing teens could be in big trouble, ex-prosecutors say…



    1. Let’s be fair, Swiss. He was also BLEEDING at them.

  11. As I understand it,there were three cops there.So three on one unarmed man means pull a gun and go free fire on him? What a pussy.

  12. “””””while McCartney and Kerrick are white, which raises the question of whether his skin color made him seem more threatening to them.”””

    So why the need to disparage on the homeowner McCartney. She is heard someone knocking on the door in the middle of the night, someone she does not know is at the door, when she closes the door he begins to kick and yell at the door. I don’t see where she did anything improper

    1. Not with her calling the cops,but,three cops on one unarmed man and you have to shoot him sevearl times?

      1. DJF was saying there is no need to disparage the homeowner, which pissed me off when I read that part, as well. A woman with an infant and a huge stranger shows up at your door at 2:30 in the morning, probably worked up cause he was in a car crash she knew nothing about, and Sullum is going to throw aspersions at her for being afraid and calling the cops. Sorry, but with the information she was working with she is not unreasonable for feeling threatened. Where I live if a stranger comes knocking after sundown the only way I’ll answer the door is armed – there have been numerous home invasions in the area where someone shows up asking for help cause they were in a car crash.

        1. This article is a little dishonest. He didn’t just knock on someone’s door. If you read a few others you learn he was pounding and slamming the lady’s door hard enough to dent it. That will most likely get you shot in my neck of the woods.

  13. Cops are being slaughtered in the streets! It’s a warzone out there! This hero in blue was just trying to make it home safe that night.

    What do you mean the top cause of death to police is vehicle accidents? You’re just saying that because you want the criminals to win!

    1. You left out heart attacks do to being fat asses.

    2. It’s like the most dangerous job and stuff! What? It doesn’t make the top ten? But, but, but it’s like the most dangerous job and stuff! I don’t care what the statistics say!

  14. Well, the perp was black so…..good shot.


    1. it’s #bluelivesmatterMORE

  15. “Neither officer on the scene, while Jon is lying face down in a pool of blood, attempts to render any first aid,” Harris said. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, who polices the police when they do wrong? You do.”

    I’m pleasantly surprised that the deputy attorney general here is actually trying to get a conviction. Good for him.

  16. I think this is a larger problem affecting all Americans, regardless of race. There is a fundamental problem with the training of police officers

    Good on them for not immediately reaching for the race card. They’re right, it does effect everyone, but the problem runs deeper than just “training”. If that were the case then better training might stop shit like this from happening, but it won’t.

    The problem is a system of no accountability combined with a “cop culture” that teaches them to see everyone they encounter as a potential threat and their primary duty to “go home safely each night” as opposed to serve the public.

    So not training them to assume that anyone they meet is a threat might help some, but the lack of accountability combined with the cop culture once they’re on the job will kick in and within a couple of months on the job they’ll be right back to being panicky, trigger happy little bitches.

    1. “Neither officer on the scene, while Jon is lying face down in a pool of blood, attempts to render any first aid,”

      Also, all the training in the world won’t fix sociopathy.

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  18. If you handcuff a man you just shot ten times don’t you think their would LITERALLY be blood on your hands?

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