Unarmed Man was Shot Ten Times by Officer
By Mitch Weiss and Jeffrey Collins
An unarmed man seeking help after a car crash over the weekend was shot 10 times by the Charlotte police officer who’s now charged in his death, investigators said.
The release of the information supporting the voluntary manslaughter charge came at the end of a day that also included the first public remarks by victim Jonathan A. Ferrell’s family. A family attorney and representatives of the NAACP questioned whether race played a role in the shooting of the black man by a white officer.
Ferrell’s family said the former Florida A&M University football player moved to Charlotte about a year ago to be with his fiancee and was working two jobs. He wanted to go back to school and eventually become an automotive engineer.
“You took a piece of my heart that I can never put back,” said Ferrell’s mother, Georgia Ferrell, as she clutched a stuffed Winnie the Pooh doll her 24-year-old son loved as a child.
A police news release said Officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 times at Ferrell while responding to a breaking and entering call, hitting him 10 times.
NAACP leaders gathered Monday to both praise police for quickly filing charges and to complain about how the shooting didn’t surprise them considering portrayals of black men in popular culture and previous instances of racially inflected violence.
Ferrell family attorney Chris Chestnut wondered what role race may have played in the shooting.
“The officer is white, Mr. Ferrell is black. This might be more of a reflection of where we are as a country,” he said.