Grand jury won’t indict police officer who shot unarmed man TEN TIMES as he looked for help after car crash
The attorney for the family of a Charlotte man shot and killed last year says he is happy that the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office will resubmit voluntary manslaughter charges against a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer, but says they are now “skeptical” about getting justice.
On Tuesday, a Mecklenburg County Grand Jury declined to indict Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Randall Kerrick on charges of voluntary manslaughter in the September 14 shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. Prosecutors from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office say they sought the indictment based on an investigation conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation as well as a separate investigation conducted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Investigators told WBTV that Officer Kerrick fired his weapon 12 times and struck Ferrell 10 times, resulting in his death. On Tuesday, a Grand Jury asked the District Attorney for a lesser charge than voluntary manslaughter.
“We the Grand Jury respectfully request that the district attorney submit a bill of indictiment to a lesser-included or related offense,” the court papers stated.
On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office said it planned to resubmit the charges before the full Grand Jury. The Mecklenburg County Grand Jury is made up of 18 jurors. Court officials say on Tuesday, 14 members of the jury were in the session. According to North Carolina law, at least 12-members of the grand jury must agree with a decision for it to pass.
“In the interest of justice, we will resubmit this case to the grand jury scheduled to meet Monday, January 27 to seek an indictment for voluntary manslaughter, the most appropriate charge given the facts in the case,” Attorney General Roy Cooper stated on Wednesday afternoon.
Ferrell’s family said in a statement on Wednesday evening that they are “skeptical” now.
“While we are pleased that the Attorney General is going to resubmit the charges against Randall Kerrick to a new Grand Jury on Monday, we are skeptical given their inability to secure an indictment yesterday,” the statement reads. “Jonathan Ferrell was a quality human being who worked hard and cared for those around him. He deserved better.”
The family says no matter what the Grand Jury decides, they will ensure his family “realizes justice for Jonathan and all Americans.” The decision by the grand jury to not indict Officer Kerrick had many people scratching their heads. It’s a process that typically rubber stamps an arrest. But because it’s behind close doors no one can truly say why the decision was made.
“They won’t give you the list of who the grand jury members are. It’s a secret process. And if the foreman of this grand jury had any conversation with you at all she could be subjected to contempt of court and thrown in jail for thirty days,” said lawyer Brad Smith of law firm Arnold & Smith.
Smith said no one but the grand jury and the two witnesses who were called know exactly what was said Tuesday in the grand jury room.
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