This one is beyond horrible. I am sick to death of these stories, and this one is just a couple hours down the road from me.
A North Carolina police officer who authorities say fatally shot an unarmed man as he sought assistance after he crashed his vehicle early Saturday morning has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the man’s death.
Authorities in Charlotte say former Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University football player Jonathan Ferrell appears to have crashed his car down an embankment about 2:30 a.m. and then knocked on the door of a nearby residence shortly after looking for help.
The homeowner opened the door thinking it was her husband. When she realized it was 24-year-old Ferrell - a stranger - she closed the door and called 911.
When officers arrived, they found Ferrell a short distance from the home, and he matched a description given by the homeowner, police said.
The statement said officers approached Ferrell to investigate the original call. Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Ferrell continued to run toward police when Officer Randall Kerrick fired his weapon, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene.
After discovering the wrecked vehicle, authorities determined that Ferrell was potentially seeking help from the homeowner when she called 911.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said the accident was serious and Ferrell would have been forced to climb out of the back window of the vehicle. He apparently walked to the nearest house and banged on the door.
Monroe told a news conference that he didn’t think Ferrell was trying to rob the woman.
‘I don’t believe threats were made,’ the chief said.
Monroe also said he had spoken with Kerrick.
‘He is pretty shook up,’ the chief said. ‘He’s devastated.’
Kerrick has been with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police since April 2011.
Monroe said at a news conference that Kerrick was in custody. Police say he was charged with voluntary manslaughter after an investigation found that the shooting was excessive.
Two other officers at the scene have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a probe into the shooting.
If police officers around the country want to know why African Americans, Latinos and increasingly, white Americans fear and distrust them, this can be labeled exhibit 6,238…and counting…