Wednesday, August 12, 2015

North Carolina Cop Goes on Trial

See: Don't Knock on Doors in North Carolina

Or in Detroit, for that matter.

"Trial begins for officer accused in fatal N.C. shooting" by Mitch Weiss Associated Press  July 21, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After nearly two years, a trial began Monday for a white Charlotte police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man who was looking for help.

Twenty-nine-year-old Randall Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 death of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player. If convicted, Kerrick faces up to 11 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the shooting was a case of excessive force, while defense attorneys say Kerrick acted in self-defense. Kerrick joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2011 after working as an animal control officer.

More than 200 people are scheduled to testify, and jury selection alone could take weeks.

One motion dealt with a questionnaire each prospective juror will be asked to complete. Charlotte Observer attorney Jon Buchan filed a motion asking that the finished questionnaires be made public. He argued that the public has the right to know — especially in such a high-profile case.

Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin granted the motion but removed several lines from the form that could make identifying prospective jurors easier.

Some questions dealt with race as well as the police. One question asked: Given incidents in other cities where white officers shot unarmed black men ‘‘do you have any strong feelings, positive or negative toward police?’’ Another asked jurors whether they have any feelings — ‘‘positive or negative’’ — about Charlotte police.

Kerrick’s attorneys said interest in the case has increased because of the national debate about race and aggressive police tactics that began in August with the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.


"The US Department of Justice on Friday released a report critical of the St. Louis County Family Court, finding black youths are treated more harshly than whites, and juveniles are often deprived of constitutional rights."

Also see:

A year later, Ferguson family still mourns
Shooting mars Ferguson events
Video released of man shot in Ferguson by police
Ferguson hires interim police chief

That should fix everything, and why is such an iconic movement discrediting itself?

In the past few months, several high-profile cases have fueled the issue. A white North Charleston, S.C., police officer was charged with shooting an unarmed black man in the back after a witness captured the encounter on his cellphone. And rioting erupted in Baltimore after the death of a black man who was fatally injured while in police custody.

RelatedBaltimore homicides hit 42 in July

Looks like they could use a hand or two on the beat.

After giving a co-worker a ride home, Ferrell drove his car off a road and down an embankment and into woods about 2:30 a.m. Sept. 14, 2013.

Ferrell couldn’t find his cellphone to make a call, so he kicked out the rear window of his disabled car and went in search of help. He pounded on the door of a home, but the woman there thought he was a robber and called 911.

Three officers responded to the call, but Kerrick was the only one who fired his gun. Police reports showed Kerrick fired at Ferrell 12 times, hitting him 10 times. Ferrell, who had no criminal record, died at the scene.

In Tulsa on Monday, grand jury selection began in a separate case — the investigation of an Oklahoma sheriff and his office after a volunteer deputy and friend of the sheriff fatally shot an unarmed suspect.

Jurors will be asked to decide whether Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz neglected his duties and whether reserve deputies were given special treatment after donating to the sheriff’s office.

A petition drive calling for the grand jury began after ex-deputy Robert Bates fatally shot Eric Harris on April 2. A memo leaked weeks later questioned Bates’ training.

Press finally moved on a report.


"N.C. trial begins for officer in shooting" Associated Press  August 04, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A white Charlotte police officer on trial for the on-duty killing of a black man panicked and didn’t identify himself or give any commands before shooting 12 times at the agitated man seeking help in an unfamiliar neighborhood after a car crash, a prosecutor said during opening statements Monday.

Any agitation by Jonathan Ferrell was because of the September 2013 wreck, which was so violent he lost his cellphone and had to kick out a window to escape. He gave officer Randall Kerrick no reason to fear for his life and resort to deadly force, prosecutor Adren Harris said. But an attorney for Kerrick said Ferrell made a number of bad choices after drinking and smoking marijuana after a fight with his fiancee.

As officers arrived, he yelled, “Shoot me.” Ferrell then charged at Kerrick and two other officers before they could assess the situation and tried to grab Kerrick’s gun when he fell on him after being shot several times, defense attorney Michael Greene said.

“This case is not about race. It never was about race. This case was about choices — Jonathan Ferrell’s bad choices,” Greene said. 

Besides, it is hard to define excessive force or its use.


UPDATEA gunman accused of killing a neighbor was killed by police in a shootout

Also seeN.C. officer defends killing car victim

Tears and all.

State of emergency order rescinded in Ferguson

Kept their oaths according to the blogs I read.

Grand juror in Michael Brown case appeals gag order