Police shoot, kill unarmed black man seeking assistance after ‘serious’ car accident

By Scott Kaufman
Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:57 EDT
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On Saturday, police in Charlotte, North Carolina shot and killed a 24-year-old man they now believe was seeking help after a being involved in a serious car accident.

Police Chief Rodney Monroe described the events of the evening, which ended in one of his officers, Randall Kerrick, turning himself in on charges of voluntary manslaughter.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., a man knocked at the door of a home in northeast Charlotte. The woman inside thought it was her husband and answered it, but was surprised to find “it was a person she did not know or recognize. She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm and called 911,” Monroe said.

The man allegedly continued to try to get the woman’s attention after she’d called 911.

Police arrived at the scene minutes later, at which point the deceased, former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell, “immediately charged towards the three officers, one in particular. That officer fired his weapon several times, striking individual multiple times.”

Ferrell died at the scene.

Shortly thereafter, police found what they “believe to be the vehicle that belonged to the individual who was shot. It’s quite possible he was seeking assistance. Based on the accident, it was a pretty serious accident.”

Chief Monroe said that Ferrell would have been forced to climb out the back window of his vehicle, and that the property he approached was the nearest house to the scene of the accident.

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

Although the officer involved was white and the victim black, police insist that this was simply an “unfortunate” accident.

Watch the WBTV report on the incident here:

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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