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."

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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*?

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.
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