Family of man killed by Charlotte cop files lawsuit

Credit: Courtesy of Gregory Boler via Charlotte Observer

Jonathan Ferrell, 24, of Charlotte, who was a football player at Florida A&M University. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting the unarmed Ferrell in an eastern Mecklenburg County neighborhood early Saturday morning.


by Associated Press & Staff

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 15 at 6:11 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A family is suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, saying the department used excessive force in the fatal shooting of a former Florida A&M football player.
The lawsuit says 23-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was unarmed when he was killed last year.
The North Carolina Attorney General's office said Monday it would seek an indictment against police officer Randall Kerrick.

(Click here to read the complaint filed by Ferrell's family)
Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Ferrell.

"Clearly this was a rogue officer," Ferrell's family attorney Chris Chestnut said. "The question is, how does a rogue officer get on the police force? How does he get a gun and a badge?

How does an animal control officer who's obviously trigger happy become a police officer with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept? How safe is the community if he has a gun and a badge and is on the street."

Ferrell had pounded on the door of a home for help after wrecking his car. But the woman in the home thought he was a robber and called 911.

"I feel I shouldn't be here," said Jonathan's mother, Georgia Ferrell. "My son was only here for education to better his life, to better our lives. to be with his fiancee and was only seeking help. So, I feel I shouldn't be here."

Three officers responded to the call, but Kerrick was the only one who fired his gun.

Tuesday afternoon, the City of Charlotte released the following statement:

“The civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Ferrell’s estate against the City, Officer Kerrick, and Chief Monroe was expected”, said City Attorney Bob Hagemann.  “In light of the pending criminal charges against Officer Kerrick, it would be inappropriate to comment on the lawsuit other than to reiterate the City’s and Chief Monroe’s expression of sympathy for Mr. Ferrell’s family.