If things had been reversed, if Jonathan Ferrell had been the perpetrator, if Ferrell has taken Kerrick’s life, Ferrell would have ALREADY been tried and possibly on his way to the gas chamber. But, because Kerrick wears a uniform that allows him to decide who lives and dies, he has not been brought to justice and may possibly NEVER be.
Early this week, the mother of Tamir Rice, Samaria Rice, revealed her son, an unarmed black child who was gunned down by police in November, has not been buried. The investigation into his death has been a painstaking, confusing process, and the family has no idea if the body is needed for further examination. Samaria is currently living in a homeless shelter, unable to live near the field where her son was killed.
In North Carolina, however, another family is coping with an even longer wait for charges to be resolved against the officer who shot an unarmed black man in Charlotte. Twenty-one months after Jonathan Ferrell’s death, and more than a year since Officer Randall Kerrick’s indictment, the officer’s trial hasn’t begun, and his defense attorneys are trying to have his case thrown out altogether.
Ferrell, a former football player at Florida A&M, was shot by Kerrick in 2013. Prior to his death, the 24-year-old crashed his car and sought help from the nearest household around 2 a.m. After Ferrell knocked on the door, a woman in the house alerted police. And when the officers arrived, Kerrick fired 12 rounds. Ferrell was hit 10 times. The officers later claimed Ferrell was acting “aggressively” and may have been intoxicated, but a blood alcohol level test proved otherwise.
After the shooting, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department investigationconcluded the officer-involved shooting was “excessive” and “that [Officer Randal Kerrick] did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.” However, a grand jury convened after the shooting decided not to indict Kerrick for voluntary manslaughter. In a surprising twist, a second grand jury convened when it was discovered that the first was not composed of a full panel. In Janurary 2014, Kerrick was indicted. Defense attorneys called the prosecution’s re-submission of the case unlawful a “wholly improper and blatant attempt to influence the (second) grand jury.”
Now, they’re trying to get the case dismissed, arguing prosecutors tossed Ferrell’s blood test before the defense could examine it for themselves.
“It will be two years. Two years in September,” Georgia Ferrell said, in response to motions to dismiss the case. “There’s nothing done about it. And they have the dash cam to see plain as day that he murdered my child.” Shortly before the indictment, Ferrell’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kerrick, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, and Charlotte.