ONTD Political

Man Looking for Help Killed by Police

8:55 pm - 09/15/2013
Charlotte police kill unarmed man who may have been running to them for help
By Jessica King and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
updated 6:20 AM EDT, Sun September 15, 2013



(CNN) -- Police in North Carolina shot and killed a man running toward them Saturday morning -- but he may have just been looking for help after a car wreck.

Officers responded to a "breaking and entering" 911 call at a home in Charlotte.

The homeowner told dispatchers that a man had been knocking on her door repeatedly.

Police say that when they got to the scene, a man matching the caller's description ran toward them.

One of the officers fired his stun gun, but it was "unsuccessful." Another officer then opened fire, police said.

Jonathan Ferrell died at the scene. He was shot several times.

He was unarmed.

Police now believe Ferrell was seeking assistance after crashing his car.

The crash

Ferrell was 24 and a former football player at Florida A&M University.

Police found a wrecked car nearby, indicating that he may have been trying to get help.

"It was a pretty serious accident," Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe told CNN affiliate WSOC.

The crash was so severe that authorities now believe Ferrell had to climb out of the back window, another affiliate WBTV reported.

He ran to the closest house for help.

The woman inside thought it was her husband.

"To her surprise, it was an individual that she did not know or recognize," Monroe told WBTV. "She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm, called 911."

The man stood outside and "continued to attempt to gain the attention of the homeowner," a police statement said.

The shooting

Police have charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter -- a felony. He turned himself in Saturday afternoon and was being held early Sunday on a $50,000 bond.

Police used "charged" and "ran" and "advanced" in their description of what Ferrell did.

There were three officers at the scene, but Kerrick was the only one to use a gun.

He fired several times, police said.

"The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive," police said in another statement issued late Saturday night. "Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter. "

All three officers have been placed on paid leave.

A charge of voluntary manslaughter means the person used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill.

Police called the incident "unfortunate."

"It has devastated a family as well as caused a great deal of sadness and anxiety in our organization," a statement said.

The reaction

Friends expressed grief on social media, calling Ferrell a "brother" and demanding "justice."

He had at least one brother, Willie, who played with him at Florida A&M.

Ferrell was also engaged.

"We loved him. Our family loved him," his fiance's mother told WSOC.

His 25th birthday would have been next month.

Edit: UPDATE: Monday afternoon, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a news release that its investigation determined the officer "fired his weapon 12 times and struck Mr. Ferrell 10 times resulting in his death."

The incident over the weekend has sparked outrage.

"We're going to file the necessary legal actions to ensure that we get the answers that this family deserves, that America deserves," the man's brother, Willie Ferrell, told CNN on Monday. "This was an unwarranted, inhumane shooting."

Source
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lovedforaday 15th-Sep-2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Police have charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter -- a felony.

Wonder how quickly the jury will acquit him.
ntensity 15th-Sep-2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
I didn't even think that far ahead to be disappointed, I was naively being happy/relieved that they even charged him in the first place. But you're probably right. Ugh.
nextdrinksonme 15th-Sep-2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
I hate when people get "leave/suspended with pay". How is a vacation a punishment?
ntensity 15th-Sep-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
MTE. I understand that in the beginning, before they've investigated or something. But the article says the investigation found the officer was wrong to discharge his weapon, so why does he still get paid time off?
starsinshapes 15th-Sep-2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
I didn't even need to watch the video to know he was black.
ms_mmelissa 15th-Sep-2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
Yep. :/
the_physicist 15th-Sep-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
Paid leave? No intention to kill if you shoot at them with a gun?! wtf.

and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive,"

no shit.
skellington1 16th-Sep-2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
"No intention to kill" caught my eye, too -- it was my understanding that cops were always told to shoot-to-kill (torso biggest target, less risk of stray bullets, etc -- they never shoot-to-maim)... so 'firing his weapon' equals 'intent to kill', I'd think!
anguisel 15th-Sep-2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
The woman inside thought it was her husband.

Really? If your husband was knocking on the door in a panic, wouldn't he be calling your damn name out too? (Like Ethel! Ethel!) Or wouldn't he have let himself in with the keys and burst in Kramer style?
the_physicist 15th-Sep-2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
it's hard to judge from far away, but why the hell did she not help him anyway in the first place? urgh. >_>
thevelvetsun 15th-Sep-2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
Most police officers are bullies and assholes, and no one can ever change my mind on that. And they have a real warped way of thinking where they expect everyone to obey them like we're trained dogs. Like omg how dare an unarmed man run at a police officer! He is not groveling at our feet begging for help, instead he's running in panic, better fucking shoot him!
angelmaye 15th-Sep-2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think it is fair to say that plenty of police officers, or a lot of officers have that mentality, but I'm not sure that I can agree that most have that attitude.
anolinde 15th-Sep-2013 05:34 pm (UTC)
idg what happened with the person who called 911 on him in the first place? Like, presumably he would have been saying something along the lines of "please help, I got into a car accident"? I can see being freaked out if some bleeding dude comes running up to your house and starts pounding on the door, but surely at some point she would have realized that he needed assistance and at least called for help even if she didn't want to help him herself?

Edited at 2013-09-15 05:34 pm (UTC)
robintheshrew 15th-Sep-2013 11:34 pm (UTC)
Seriously, I'm hating this woman right now
synekdokee 15th-Sep-2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I'm being optimistic, but based on the way the police is talking about it, they're taking it seriously? I hope the officers gets more than a slap on the wrist...
robintheshrew 15th-Sep-2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
Fingers crossed
meadowphoenix 15th-Sep-2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
I'm super uncomfortable with everyone assuming things on the part of that woman. The cops are the only people required to keep a cool head here.
thevelvetsun 15th-Sep-2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Seriously!! Thank you. Let's please not blame the woman who called the police. If the cops had y'know, HELPED him, we'd all be praising that woman for calling the police. But since the POLICE fucked up, suddenly that woman should have known better and acted like a cool professional under stress, right?
tabaqui 15th-Sep-2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
I am so sick of the 'shoot first' mentality of the cops anymore. *One* minute of 'what are you doing?' type of questioning, and they'd have figured out he needed help.

I mean, for fuck's sake, it's possible the man had a concussion or something and wasn't even thinking straight/was starting to go into shock. Why automatically assume he's in *attack* mode? And why, then, automatically go for *your gun*?

Jayzus.
nesmith 15th-Sep-2013 07:58 pm (UTC)
Wonder how many "Well he shouldn't have been running at them!" comments there are.
tabaqui 15th-Sep-2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
Also, for the love of fluffy kittens, do *not* read the comments at the source.
robintheshrew 15th-Sep-2013 11:38 pm (UTC)
I learned that lesson long ago lol It's like YouTube comments.
jeweledvixen 15th-Sep-2013 07:58 pm (UTC)
Police have charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter -- a felony. --snip--
All three officers have been placed on paid leave.


He's been charged with Voluntary Manslaughter AND he's on paid leave?!? How does this make any sense?
lovelymae 15th-Sep-2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
The video says the other two officers are on paid leave and the one who killed Johnathan is charged...
left_on_red 15th-Sep-2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
So, a black man knocking on your door is "breaking and entering," and a black man seeking help from police is punishable by death.
robintheshrew 15th-Sep-2013 11:41 pm (UTC)
Welcome to Florida
myrrhmade 15th-Sep-2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
Fucking disgusting. I want to cry but I'm so used to this shit I'm just numb. And fuck that woman for seeing a young black man pounding on her door begging for help and not helping him.

Also "matches the description" = agitated young black man. Fuck NC. Wonder how long it'll take for these cops to not get convicted too.
paksenarrion2 17th-Sep-2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Just stop.

That woman had no clue if this guy was just looking for help (legitimately) or pretending so he could get inside and rob or rape her. The only ones to blame are the cops. Period.
effervescent 15th-Sep-2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
Come on, people, keep in mind that for a woman home alone, being wary and suspicious of a man pounding on her door for help is perfectly reasonable. The cops are the ones who deserve all the blame here, not her.
mahsox_mahsox 16th-Sep-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
It is also likely that because he'd just been in a serious accident he wasn't terribly coherent and good at communicating. Also, if it was Saturday morning she may have been sleeping in, and been woken from sleep by his knock at the door and not have been entirely together and competent herself yet. Not the best of situations for communicating.

The police on the other hand? Awake and presumably fit for work.
redstar826 16th-Sep-2013 01:29 am (UTC)
This article has more info. This happened at about 2:30 am, which I think helps to explain why this woman was so scared to find a stranger at her door.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/09/14/4313045/cmpd-chief-to-hold-press-conference.html#.UjZeEn-E71n

and, lets be real, if this guy had been a burglar or other person up to no good and this woman got hurt when she tried to help him the comments to that article would be full of people saying how stupid she was for opening the door

Edited at 2013-09-16 02:01 am (UTC)
angelofdeath275 16th-Sep-2013 02:33 am (UTC)
congrats crackers of ontd_p, you fucking derailed a post about clear cut blatant racism.

I don't give a fuck about whatever the white woman was feeling because its fucking obvious she's racist. bit noooo her fellow whiteys ONCE AGAIN fall over themselves to make excuses for her.

I hope she hates herself on the brink of a mental breakdown and knows deep down she deserves so much more. but that would require empathy towards black people, and in this particular case, a black man. so she'll just lie herself into a good night's rest.

and those police? oh paid vacation? I bet they're rationalizing it right now with 'stats' about how black men commit the most crime so.....it happened. ugh I wish the guillotine on them. I doubt they care at fucking all. ugh I wish them dead.
synekdokee 16th-Sep-2013 07:42 am (UTC)
I-

How do you know she would've reacted differently if it had been a white man? Because all whiteys hate black people?
hammersxstrings 16th-Sep-2013 05:27 am (UTC)
I read that one of the officers was charged with manslaughter, so at least that's happened, but jfc this poor man.

Awful, awful tragedy. His poor family.
astridmyrna 16th-Sep-2013 06:20 am (UTC)
This is such a fucking tragedy that I just can't, and I feel horrible for his family and I hope that the media will respect their privacy.

Jonathan Ferrell died at the scene. He was shot several times.

At least Kerrick turned himself in, so maybe he'll plead guilty and get more than a slap on the wrist? Maybe?
hammersxstrings 16th-Sep-2013 07:20 am (UTC)
After reading throu ghthe comments, I'm kind of surprised, with the amount of commentary here I've seen in the past on violence against women, people are attacking this lady. Like, super early in the morning/late at night, alone at home....I live in a pretty decent area, but there's still some shady stuff that happens. There is no way I'd open my door when I'm home by myself late at night if I wasn't expecting someone; for all she knew someone was doing that to get in her house, knowing she was alone. Calling the police was the way to do it, but the way they handled the situation was way the fuck off, obviously
hinoema 16th-Sep-2013 10:53 am (UTC)
I agree. It's the responsibility of the police to assess a situation, decide what needs to be done and use lethal violence as a last resort, not a first response.
nerwende 16th-Sep-2013 08:19 am (UTC)
Ugghh my browser just ate my comment. To summarise, I was trying to say that in my country (5 million people, 4th in gun ownership stats) in an average year the police
- shoots a firearm 10-15 times
- wounds 3-4 people
- generally doesn't aim AT people and if they do, they often aim at legs.
There seems to have been a total of 3 fatalities since 2000.
The idea behind this is to use a gun only to disarm/stop someone dangerous who is beyond reasoning, not ~killing everything that moves~. Pretty radical huh?

--> having grown up in this culture and having been taught that police are the good guys, I find articles like these pretty fucking incomprehensible. An UNARMED guy was shot SEVERAL TIMES for LOOKING FOR HELP.
What kind of logic....?

But back to the statistics from my country : THINGS HAVEN'T ALWAYS BEEN SO GOOD. There's a been a decline in the police use of firearms, especially since the 90s. This seems to be contributed to more training about how to handle situations and other methods becoming more widely available (I think they're referring to tazers and special clubs here?). We also have a really strict law in place that dictates how and when the police can use a firearm and any use is always reported and investigated (and it sometimes seems to me, reported by the media). So IDK what I'm trying to say except that I'm certain it doesn't have to be this way.
corbyinoz 16th-Sep-2013 10:43 am (UTC)
As a woman alone at night, with my daughter in the next room? Waking to incoherent shouts at 2.30am, I would not let him in. I would ring the police.

At that point, I would expect them to react with professional calmness, clearheadednes, and proper training. I would expect them to react appropriately and appraise the situation before taking any action. I would expect sensible, careful and compassionate reasoning from people professionally prepared to handle such situations.

I would not, for the love of all that's fucking moral, expect them to shoot the poor bloke!!! And that stands if he was a bloody burglar! I don't care if he was yelling abuse - neither of these *deserve the death penalty*!!! I do not know how they possibly, conceivably, arrived at that point.

Clearly, this poor, poor man was neither of the above. The point is, it wouldn't have mattered if he was.
thevelvetsun 16th-Sep-2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
Best comment, A+.
fishphile 16th-Sep-2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is totally on the police and not on the lady.

However, I absolutely wouldn't expect the police to fairly treat a Black man. And I still wouldn't open my door to a man I don't know while I'm home alone. That really is a hard decision that I don't envy anyone.

I'm sure the woman hoped the police would properly handle the situation.

The real discussion is why did the police shoot this man. And I'm shocked that anyone was charged. Btw: I'm sure I know why he was shot, but we have to start changing this.
batty_gal 16th-Sep-2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
Breaking and entering call? Um, robbers don't knock. When the fuck has a robber knocked on a door and asked to come in so that they can rob? That's why it's called BREAKING and entering.

Fuck the police, fuck that ~distressed call~, fuck everything about this.
castalianspring 16th-Sep-2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
If you'd read the above threads, you'd know that yes, men have indeed knocked on doors and told all kinds of stories in order to gain access to homes and rob them or commit other crimes. It's less noticeable than just breaking in. Let's leave the blame where it should be, on the racist trigger-happy cop.
lestat 16th-Sep-2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
some of these comments are awful in this post. i've had grown ass men try to enter my house when i was underage and only dialing for my parent would make them leave. the onus of this crime is on the police, goddamn.
batty_gal 16th-Sep-2013 11:28 pm (UTC)
What the fuck ever.
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