A police officer is charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting an unarmed man who just survived a car crash. The man was running towards Officer Randall Kerrick at the time he was shot. The victim is a former Florida A&M University football player, who was thought to be running toward the cop for help, according to Yahoo News on Sept. 15.
Johnathan Ferrell, 24, was shot multiple times by Kerrick and was pronounced dead at the scene early Saturday morning. Kerrick turned himself in and he was released on a $50,000 bond. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released a statement:
“Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Ferrell crashed his car into the woods, then walked about a half of a mile to the nearest house. He was banging on the front door, most likely for help, but the woman who lived in the house called 911 and reported a burglary. She thought Ferrell was trying to break in.
Three police officers arrived at the house, surrounding Ferrel, who immediately charged at the police. One officer attempted to subdue him with a Taser, but that didn’t work. This is when Kerrick fired several shots into Ferrel.
The original ruling cited Officer Ferrel as taking “appropriate and lawful” actions, but a more in-depth investigation found that under North Carolina law, his actions fell under voluntary manslaughter.
" Under North Carolina law, voluntary manslaughter is defined as killing without malice using "excessive force" in exercising "imperfect self-defense," according to the Yahoo article.
There was no evidence that the woman was threatened by Ferrell and Alcohol did not appear to play a part in the crash. Apparently Ferrell was an injured crash survivor just looking for help.
The officer was charged with voluntary manslaughter on the same day he shot the man dead. There wasn’t an investigation that dragged on for months. The officer wasn’t put on a desk job while the investigation continued, as often seen in a case like this. The police department acted in a timely manner and took this police officer off the streets, then charged him with the crime.
It is a breath of fresh air to see a police department act so responsibly when it comes to one of their own breaking the law and ultimately taking a life. The other police officers at this shooting were put on administrative leave.