Prosecutors won’t seek pursue retrial for officer in Charlotte shooting death
(CNN) — Prosecutors in North Carolina will not seek a retrial in the case of a police officer who was charged in the shooting death of an unarmed man, according to a letter from the state attorney general’s office.
Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a college student and football player, in 2013.
A judge declared a mistrial in Kerrick’s case last week after the jury could not reach a verdict.
Prosecutors made their decision after speaking with jurors from the original trial.
“In consideration of the jurors’ comments, the evidence available to the State, and our background in criminal trials, it is our prosecutors’ unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result,” said the state attorney general’s letter to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.
Ferrell, who played college football at Florida A&M University, was in a car wreck the night of September 14, 2013, that was so severe he needed to crawl out of the back window of his car, Ferrell family attorney Chris Chestnut said. He then went to a house to get help.
The woman in the house called 911 thinking a stranger was trying to break in her front door.
According to Chestnut’s version of events, Ferrell was on the sidewalk when officers — Kerrick and two others — arrived and walked toward them because he was relieved they had arrived.
While dashcam video released at the trial indeed appears to show Ferrell walking toward officers, he quickly begins running toward police as lights hit his chest.
Someone shouts, “Get on the ground!” three times, and shots are heard off-camera.
Prosecutors said Ferrell started to run because he was afraid for his life after another officer pointed a Taser at him.
The dashcam video seems to exemplify the stark contrast in the accounts told by each side.
Before its release, Chestnut said the video showed Kerrick committed “cold-blooded murder” and it would show that Ferrell raised his hands, as if to say “wait.” Kerrick’s defense attorney, meanwhile, said in his opening statement that Ferrell became aggressive, pounding his thighs and taunting Kerrick, saying, “Shoot me! Shoot me!”
The video, however, didn’t show either event, and didn’t seem to make what happened any clearer.
By Joshua Berlinger
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