The Charlotte NAACP is speaking out after an unarmed man was fatally shot on Saturday by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe says Jonathan Ferrell was shot and killed on Saturday morning by CMPD officer Randall Kerrick.
On Monday evening, investigators told WBTV that Officer Kerrick fired his weapon 12 times and struck Ferrell 10 times resulting in his death.
According to police, the shooting happened along the 7500 block of Reedy Creek Road early Saturday morning.
A woman called 911 and said a man knocked on her door and she opened it, thinking it was her husband coming home from work. She said the man stood outside the door for a period of time, and tried to get the attention of the homeowner.
When officers arrived at the home, they found Jonathan Ferrell near the home. Ferrell matched the description of the man from the 911 call.
According to police, Ferrell approached three officers and ran towards them. Officer Thornell Little deployed his CMPD-issued Taser at Ferrell but it was unsuccessful.
Investigators said Ferrell continued to run towards Officer Randall Kerrick who had his service weapon drawn. Officer Kerrick discharged several rounds striking Ferrell multiple times according to police.
CMPD said officers on the scene thought Ferrell was a threat, but Kerrick was the only one who drew his gun and fired.
"There is no evidence that shows Jonathan Ferrell should have been shot at all," Charlotte NAACP president Kojo Nantambu said. "But for Officer Kerrick to shoot 12 times and striking Mr. Ferrell 10 times indicates more than a reflex, it smells more of hatred and rage which shows that Mr. Kerrick was predisposed in killing a Black Man and did so with extreme prejudice."
Reverend Nantambu says the Charlotte NAACP is calling for an increased charge for Officer Kerrick because "recent released information about the incident shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was more than manslaughter, this was a brutal killing and execution of Jonathan Ferrell."
He says the NAACP will be lobbying for a murder charge, saying that "no other charge will suffice."
Kerrick was arrested on Saturday evening and charged with voluntary manslaughter after a police investigation show he used "excessive force" in the incident.
On Monday afternoon Rev. Nantambu said these kinds of shootings happen all too often.
"It is an epidemic in this country," he said. "It is, seems to be a tradition in this country to be able to kill innocent black men."
Specifically --he and other community activists want more rights given to the citizen review board, which looks at an officer's actions during incidents like this one.
"If they work for us, we ought to have the right to review their behavior and their actions at times when they are questionable," he said. "A citizens' review board should have the right to subpoena witnesses and subpoena evidence. It should have the right to interview police officers and interview witnesses. It should have the right to make recommendations as to what happens to an officer when what he did is in question."
But UNC Charlotte criminal justice professor Dr. Vivian Lord disagrees. She says the boards rights aren't relevant to this particular case.
"I think this case, we're kinda looking at apples and oranges," she pointed out. I think that if, there had been a different decision, perhaps they would be related."
A different decision that didn't include Officer Randall Ferrick being charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of 24 year old Jonathan Ferrell.
Lord also believes CMPD's actions send the right message to the community.
"If Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept and their detectives and DA office find that they have the elements to charge an individual, that they're not gonna hesitate to do that just because it's a police officer," she said. "I think that's the main message. That no officer should ever be above the law."
Nantambu says the NAACP will plan for local community forums on past experiences with local police to see if this was an anomaly or was it part of the mindset and behavior of CMPD foot soldiers.
Saturday, October 26 2013 2:38 PM EDT2013-10-26 18:38:37 GMT
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