Mistrial for North Carolina policeman who shot unarmed man

Reuters

A North Carolina judge declared a mistrial on Friday when a jury deadlocked in the trial of a police officer charged in the death of an unarmed man.

Randall Kerrick, 29, faced a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 death of Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player who had wrecked his car on a dark road and was seeking help when he encountered officers. Ferrell ran and Kerrick opened fire at point-blank range and killed him.  

Kerrick’s case is one of several in the United States in which a white police officer has been accused of using unjustified force against an unarmed black man. The killings have touched off a nationwide debate on race and policing.

Prosecutors said they had not decided whether to retry Kerrick. Charlotte city officials agreed in May to pay Ferrell’s family $2.25 million in a civil settlement for wrongful death.

The jury of seven whites, three blacks and two Hispanics was split 8-4, though judge Robert Ervin did not reveal which way they were leaning.

The jury began deliberating on Tuesday afternoon after two weeks of testimony.

Soon after the mistrial was announced, a small group of protesters blocked traffic outside the Mecklenburg County courthouse. They lay face down on the pavement with hands clasped behind their backs.

“We have to stop killing our children,” Ferrell’s mother, Georgia, told reporters outside the courthouse as about 40 demonstrators crowded the entrance.

The family’s attorney, Christopher Chestnut, urged people to petition the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office to retry the case.

Witnesses testified that Ferrell walked to the nearby home of Sarah McCartney after the accident and pounded on the door seeking help. McCartney thought Ferrell was trying to break in and called 911.

A dashboard camera video shows Ferrell walking toward police, then running to his left and off screen as Kerrick yells three times, “Get on the ground!”

As the two men fell into a drainage ditch, Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell.

The case hinges on whether Kerrick used excessive force, or it was reasonable for him to believe Ferrell represented a threat of death or serious injury.

Prosecutors argued that Ferrell made no overt threat to police. Defense attorneys said that Kerrick had no way of knowing whether Ferrell was armed and that Ferrell tried to take Kerrick’s gun.

(Writing by David Adams; Editing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/21/us-usa-poliice-northcarolina-idUSKCN0QQ1XC20150821

9 thoughts on “Mistrial for North Carolina policeman who shot unarmed man

  1. “Kerrick’s case is one of several in the United States in which a white police officer has been accused of using unjustified force against an unarmed black man.”

    Several?

    That’s an understatement.

    “We have to stop killing our children,” Ferrell’s mother, Georgia, told reporters…”

    Define “we”.

    I haven’t killed anyone’s child.

    “Prosecutors said they had not decided whether to retry Kerrick.”

    Why bother? Same result – no jail time.

    “Prosecutors argued that Ferrell made no overt threat to police.”

    He didn’t have to…

    …they were there, he was there. They had guns, he didn’t.

    End of story.

  2. Do they screen juries for the unquestioning sheep that will automatically back the pigs no matter what they do? This should have been an open and shut case with the murdering oink going to prison.

    1. Do they screen juries for unquestioning sheep?

      Yes, they do, absolutely. The last voir dire for which I was summoned (illegally, by threat of contempt, fine, and jail), out of 24 summoned, there were at least 5 who were relatives of LEOs. With of a population of near 84,000 for this city, what do you think are the probabilities for that heavy pro-LEO load? Impossible, I say. And the others “chosen” obviously had a double digit IQ.

      There is nothing about the just-us system that is for The People. So… every comment, answer, and question I posed during that voir dire was meant to wake up the non-comatose to throw the case out. The demonic just-us judge was furious. A caricature would have shown her with horns and steam blowing from her ears.

  3. Well of course they would find a way NOT to prosecute a pig. They can do no wrong, but if you or I did the same thing, it would be an open and shut case. End of story.

  4. Mike has been put in spam. Guess that is what I get for thinking I could let my son watch the comments while I rested. I have shown him how to put people in spam.
    Poor Mikey, what a punk, whether he is getting paid or not, what a nutless, spineless punk.

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