Friday, August 28, 2015

NCAGO Letter Explaining State's Decision To Dismiss Case Against CMPD Officer Kerrick

The Charlotte Observer Wakes Up - A Little

The Charlotte Observer once fearful of CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe, decided to shine a pocket flash light on CMPD morale this week.


Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney is working to repair a rift with officers angry over the department’s handling of Randall “Wes” Kerrick, the white officer accused of killing an unarmed black man.

Putney has spoken with officers since Judge Robert Ervin last week declared a mistrial. The jury deadlocked 8-4 to acquit the officer of voluntary manslaughter.

A Fraternal Order of Police leader, Kerrick’s attorney, a member of Charlotte City Council and others told the Observer that Putney is aiming to restore fractured relations between officers and commanders.

Some officials believe a majority of officers disagree with top administrators about the shooting and believe Kerrick took reasonable action to protect himself.

Those officers accuse then-Chief Rodney Monroe and command staff of a rush to judgment on Kerrick and misleading them about his quick arrest. Investigations into officer-involved shootings and other use of force can take weeks or months. But CMPD arrested Kerrick less than a day after he shot Jonathan Ferrell in a northeast Mecklenburg County neighborhood in 2013.
Complaints emerged when a dashcam video became public for the first time during the trial and produced divided opinions about whether the shooting was justified. Officers had been assured the footage would provide clear and convincing evidence Kerrick committed a crime, said Randy Hagler, president of the North Carolina chapter of the FOP.
 “Once you saw the evidence, you knew they (top CMPD officials) were not truthful,” said Hagler, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer who now heads law enforcement for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “This is going to be an interesting time for CMPD. Chief Putney has a difficult task. He has been dealt a tough hand by his predecessor.” The rest of the Observer article is hereCedar's Take: The dashcam video that Chief Monroe claimed was so damning, and the attorney for the Ferrell family (Joey Chestnut), claimed to show Ferrell with "his hands up" pleading for his life, was neither. After weeks of testimony the evidence turned out to be largely inconclusive, except the video which showed a suspect charging towards off camera police officers, became the primary reason 8 of 12 jurors voted for acquittal.   But trial exposed more than fractured relations between command and boots on the street. It uncovered a massive fraud engineered by Rodney Monroe that centered on advancing his own personal agenda no matter what the cost to training, officer safety, morale or the truth.

Read more here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sign The Support Officer Kerrick Petition Here

Enough, of this bull shirt from the minority interests. Sad and tragic the death of Jonathan Ferrell is simply a long chain of bad choices made by the victim who for some reason charged head long into a armed officer who had less than 6 seconds to re-act in a situation where everything was in play.

Maybe the answer is that bad choices were made by all, poor officer training, poor communication from dispatch, poor interaction between officers. But the bottom line is Jonathan Ferrell, regardless of the outcome was the reason the police where put in this situation.

It is time to address not the guilt of the officer but of the system that brought everyone to this point, and it is clear that it was not about race rather how the police interact with irrational people.

The best way to proceed is to put this trial behind us and fix what is wrong and to do so you need to sign the petition now:

Sign the petition here

One More Reason To Distrust Main Stream Media

If you tuned into WCNC late Saturday evening you might have thought the world was coming to an end. The number of "riot" tease spots leading into the 11:00 newscast was nauseating. Their tweet announcing "protesters fill the streets" immediately brought images of Ferguson and Baltimore.

But when viewers tuned in they saw images of a handful of protesters running in the streets shirtless harassing motorists and banging on the hoods of cars. 
Protestors shouting "No a Justice - No Peace" disrupting what should have been an enjoyable summer night for baseball and football fans uptown. Whatever their message is, it was lost in the disruption, and the noise. Rather than calling attention to the death of Jonathan Ferrell they were only calling attention to themselves.
Media reports of the "verdict" were flawed and rather one sided, most failing to recognize that the majority of jurors favored acquittal long after it had been reported on social media.
No Justice - No Peace - My Ass

The Kerrick trial jury deadlock is a very true representation of how this case was perceived by jurors. But who voted for and against acquittal might surprise you. Of the eight jurors who favored acquitting Officer Kerrick in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, one was black, one Hispanic and six white. Of the four favoring conviction, two were black, one Hispanic and one white.
Clearly the jury didn't buy into the race baiting media who continued to fuel the white cop versus black suspect scenario.
A mistrial is not a verdict, rather a simple admission that the high bar of conviction could not be reached. A mistrial is not a miscarriage of justice. In fact in this case it is really a truest reflection of the complexity of the facts and the overreach of the prosecution. Had the charge been involuntary manslaughter I imagine the jury would have had little trouble convicting the officer.
But these facts are lost on WCNC and other stations who focused their reporting on the "raw emotion" and passion protestors had for Justice. 
The protestors, most who had no purpose other than a night of riotous misbehavior, wandered about uptown harassing police and fans at both Bank of America Stadium and BB&T Ballpark. 
Yet WCNC, WSOC. And WBTV felt it necessary to give air time to these unintelligible street thug who claimed to support Jonathan Ferrell. 
Shouting "No Justice - No Peace" and "Hands Up - Don't Shoot" apparently makes for good ratings.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney's Email Re Kerrick Trial

Today, the jury in the Randall Kerrick trial did not reach a unanimous verdict. I want to thank the countless professionals who responded to the scene of this incident on September 14, 2013, and have worked it tirelessly since that night. The time that has passed since that date has been challenging to CMPD and has cast an enormous spotlight on our agency, our policies, and our people. We have faced those challenges head on and will continue to do so. 
This was a tragic event that changed the lives of many, both in the community and within our CMPD family. The decision to arrest and charge Randall Kerrick was not made unilaterally, nor did it occur in a vacuum. It was a painful but necessary decision reached by people both within the CMPD and in consultation with the District Attorney’s office. This decision was based on the facts of the case which led to probable cause, according to North Carolina state statute.
As police officers, we must abide by the law and be responsible for our actions. I believe that we as an organization did what was right for our agency and our community. The decision for any future criminal proceedings in this case rests with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. We will continue to support their efforts. 
There are differing opinions surrounding the events of that night and our subsequent response. I understand and respect each of your opinions and your right to express them. Our commitment and service to each other and to the community will not end after one incident, nor should it. 
There is work yet to be done within this community and our organization. I am proud of the resiliency and resolve of our police officers in what they do every day to the service of our community. 
Over the coming days, I will be scheduling opportunities for us to talk about concerns or questions you may have, and to chart our path forward.
Kerr Putney
Chief of Police

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Kerrick Defense Team Releases Statement

"We, defense counsel for Officer Randall Wesley Kerrick would first like to thank the jury for its thoughtful deliberations in this case. Officer Kerrick and his family have always respected the criminal justice system that they have worked for their entire lives. All of the jurors, regardless of how they voted, were cautious, considerate and deliberate. It is citizens such as these that make our justice system work. We thank you.

The shooting of Jonathon Ferrell, while tragic, was justified given the facts and circumstances presented to Officer Kerrick at the time of the shooting. From the onset of this case, we have had to fight several battles. First, was former Chief Rodney Monroe's rush to judgment in charging Officer Kerrick. In addition, his statements to the media that Jonathon Ferrell was "likely looking for help." At trial, the State did not present ANY evidence to support this theory. Second, was the media that adopted the Chief Monroe's narrative and continually showed Officer Kerrick's mugshot photo opposite photos of Ferrell in a tuxedo and/or football uniform. Third, was our own city officials who made the unbridled decision to stop funding for Officer Kerrick's civil defense despite him still being in their employ. These same city officials met behind closed doors and opted to spend $2.25 million tax payer dollars on a civil settlement before the resolution of the criminal case. It is unfortunate that these battles waged outside of the courtroom made our task to be zealous advocates for Wes Kerrick inside the courtroom even more daunting.

Florida civil Attorney Christopher Chestnut took the opportunity as the cameras rolled yesterday to once again distort the facts and evidence in this case. He indicated that the dash cam video was "misconstrued" and that if all of the evidence had been presented, Officer Kerrick would have been convicted. In hearing witness testimony and in viewing both the physical and scientific evidence, the majority of which was provided by the defense, it was clear to the vast majority of jurors that this was a case of self-defense. For nearly two years, Attorney Chestnut's conduct in this case has been unprofessional and his tactics have been deceitful. It is interesting to note that he did not spend one day in court listening to the testimony or viewing the evidence. His habitual misrepresentations of the truth in this matter are an offense to the legal profession.

It is now time for our city to heal. It is time to put down the protest signs, unball our fists and extend our hands to each other in fellowship. It is time to begin a dialogue of how we all can make ourselves better citizens and live together in harmony. Whether one believes that the shooting was justified or excessive force was used, one constant remains: justice is not a result; justice is a process. For nearly two years, Officer Kerrick has gone through this process. Officer Kerrick was charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, was arrested, was made to post a $50,000 secured bond, had a finding of a no true bill of indictment returned by the first grand jury, had his case presented again to a different grand jury, went through a civil lawsuit and finally, a criminal trial. He went through this process all while having to make a living for himself, his wife and their 15 month old son.

Officer Kerrick did not have to take the stand and testify in his trial. In fact, our constitution affords him that very right. However, he wanted the citizens of Charlotte to know why he made the decision that he did that fateful night. He wanted them to know it was not a decision he took lightly. He wanted the jurors to know that he was honoring the oath he took on October 7, 2011, when he swore to protect the citizens of our community.

We recognize that the Ferrell family has also had to go through a process. We do not begin to know the pain the family has been through these last two years. They have carried themselves with grace and dignity. The Kerrick family extends their sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Ferrell family. They deeply regret the loss of Jonathon.

It is our sincere hope that Attorney General Roy Cooper will not seek to retry Officer Randall Wesley Kerrick. The citizens of this community have spoken through a fair and impartial jury selected by both the prosecution and the defense. After hearing the entire story, the vast majority of jurors believed that Officer Kerrick is not guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter."

Safety Primer As Kerrick Trial Comes to a Close (Info Even A VeteranCMPD Officer Can Use)

Cedar Posts is pleased to share this with you. Unsolicited but frank discussion concerning the time at hand and the potential dangers our Officers face.  
As each of us are glaringly aware, we are on the eve of substantial news and events. 
The Kerrick verdict, whether one of conviction or acquittal for voluntary manslaughter will signify to each of us, perhaps in a varied, unique way, the state of our society, the police department, the criminal justice system, and government.  
This will take the form of an opinion, which we are each entitled to, and will likely drive our perceptions and future actions to some degree.
This sequence of events and processes is not exclusive to CMPD officers.  Citizens are closely watching this trial and awaiting the verdict, some supporting a conviction for a myriad of reasons, others supporting Kerrick.  
These opinions can and will be rooted in fact in many instances, though others will inject emotion to ignore those same facts in forming their respective opinions.  This cannot be changed, and is to be expected.  
What I wish to convey is not to choose a side or offer an opinion on what should occur when the jury reaches a decision (though I’m very much for dismissal), but instead to discuss the implications for the individual officer in the field and off duty should they agree that Wes Kerrick was justified in his use of force.
Before I move further into the topic, I will say this:  I am not a law enforcement officer, nor have I ever been.  However, I do hold multiple degrees/certifications in related fields and have conducted sponsored academic research in the fields of criminal justice, multiple areas of law, interagency response operations, communications, physical security, terrorism and homeland security.
I am certain your supervisors have poised you to be aware of and respond to protests, civil disobedience, uncivil disobedience, and an increase in property crime and violence should Officer Kerrick’s case be dismissed.  While I am certain the advice and guidance given on how to cope with these circumstances is sound, I wish to discuss another aspect of officer safety and situational awareness.
While many protesters will disperse, comply, or otherwise be a “non-threat,” some will assert themselves as agitators and will be met with appropriate actions.  While protesters can be broken into these two main categories, there is a third type of subversive that is commonly referred to as the “lone wolf.”  I am sure all of you are familiar with this term, but I mention it to underscore the fact that this loner is often more difficult to detect, more calculating, and may target officers at a time and place of their choosing.  This is in contrast to the protestor, who will gather in a public, symbolic space—such as the courthouse or LEC to make his or her statement.  
Existing research indicates that lone wolves, like terrorists choose the path of least resistance (and greatest effectiveness) in their attacks.  Typically, this means one wishing to cause harm to civilians will find crowded urban areas, such as downtown, markets, transportation hubs, etc. to begin shooting or to detonate an explosive device.
Interestingly enough, when a government authority, such as a political figure or police officer is the target, the trend in (attack) location selection is the opposite of that for a civilian.  To simply put it, you are safest when downtown, at a protest, or at a transportation hub.  You are most vulnerable in isolated areas:  on patrol alone, zone checks, or at your home or running errands are a few examples of these isolated areas.  In these locations, targets are not hard, and cover, concealment, and egress is often adequate or favorable for the attacker.
I am long winded so I will try to make the next few bits as concise as possible: 
Public records (property, salary databases), internet queries (church and club affiliations, craigslist ads, databases that yield possible spouse names), social media accounts and news or social media stories featuring information about officers are all useful forms of open source intelligence for an adversary to potentially use against you.
Anything you say over the radio off of conference, to include using personal phone numbers, zone checks (many of you like the same ones over and over), and the use of common names to save time all provide signals intelligence which can be used with open source sets of information to identify you, predict your movements, determine your area of operation (off duty), and your affiliations within your community.  
These pieces of information, when pieced together, allow an adversary to “research” you to figure out when you are most vulnerable, thus increasing their ability to attack you without detection or capture.
I will not explain the nuances of collecting data and processing it to yield your full name, phone number, address, wife’s name, response area, unit number and common zone checks, but it is manageable for a motivated individual.  It only takes patience to create a set of actionable data which will aid an adversary in target selection and ambush.  I took a look at this, collected the data, analyzed it for a potential research topic, and the ease of the process scared me. To explain these elements more openly and with greater detail would be to provide a “how to guide” for an adversary, which I am very much against.  
So, here is the short list of advice for personal security on and off duty as it pertains to these topics:

1. Keep those personal phone numbers off the air.

2. Keep those personal names off the air.

3. If you must use these, use conference or message, but nothing is 100% secure.

4. Don’t use first names in public (when in uniform).  It is just another easy source of

5. Clean up your social media accounts.

6. If your wife’s social media account isn’t up to par, #5 doesn’t matter.  Same goes for mom, dad, sister, friends, etc.

7. Make sure your golfing club, church, etc. doesn’t have your name listed online as an usher, player, volunteer etc. with your name, address and phone number.

8. Don’t call in off duty gigs on the open channel.  Do you really want someone to have 3-5 hours to get in position and figure out how to ambush you?

9. Change up your zone checks.  I know on any given night I can take a right off Eastway onto Central an there will be an officer in that church parking lot.  

10. If you want to take a personal break, smoke, use your phone, or chat with someone, have reasonable cover and concealment.  If a clear line of sight to you is 50 yards or more in an urban area, you are a rifleman’s dream.  

11. Remember, a good choke point for a checkpoint, traffic stop, or natural terminus of a chase (ie, a dead end) is also a great ambush point.  Don’t walk into one blind.  
As an aside to #11, it was made public by MCSO on social media tonight that 2711 Randolph will be the location of a checkpoint tonight (8/20/15).  I was in the area and decided I’d cruise by, knowing it was too early for them to be up and running.  So I drove down and saw nothing, turned around, drove back up Randolph.  Then I saw the units staging.  They paid no mind to their surroundings, the ridge above the opposing side of the road, the tree line, or the fact that they held the low ground.  Lone wolves and active shooters won’t act alone forever.
I could go on with this topic, but I think I’ve hit the key notes and done my bit.  Originally this was casual research for a potential publication, but I think the best use is to report this information to the end user and move on to something else.
Stay safe out there.  

CATS And City Spinster Prove a Once Again GuvCo Lies To You

CP received a heads up that the CATS folks had plans to shut down the transit center aka bus station, inbound buses and Lynx lines if requested by CMPD.

The above tweet was met as fact by the local main stream media, and a rather touchy retort by Sandy DElousa City of Charlotte media relations hack. 

Of course when asked to deny that there where contingency plans in place nothing but crickets.

At least Sandy and the CATS Twitter feed are on the same page, wonder why? 

Thirty minutes later main stream media was walking back the story they had earlier ran with. 

But CP had already heard that the trolley had been shut down.

Just after 5 pm CATS was forced to shut down the CARS bus transfer station, yet the official tweeter feed was silent.

CATS "Special Police" trying to clear the bus transfer station. 

Finally CMPD street unit shows up.

By 8:46 CATS decides to come clean on at least the trolley which hadn't moved since 2:15.

Finally at 11 pm, nearly five hours after bus service to the transportation center was shut down CATS tweets the obvious.

CP's Take: I've got pretty good sources. Sometimes the details are a little off, which is just enough for GuvCo to deny the facts. Not sure why they don't just tell the truth. "Yes, we have contingency plans to work in concert with CMPD, to shut down the buses and the Lynx lines, if needed, but no decision has been made yet". 

Now we know that Sandy is just anither GuvCo liar with a resting bitch face. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Charlotte Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Emry Says He'd Never DefendCops Twitterstorm Erupts

Leave it to a young lawyer to take to Twitter, open his pie hole and start insulting CMPD Officers, Andrew Murray and George Laughrun. But wait he's just getting started.

Emry tweets he'd NEVER represent a cop.

Of course that's because apparently all Officers are liars.

Well at least he's a Blackhawks fan, except he thinks the state's case was poorly presented.

OK, at least he's also a Cubs fan.

But apparently doesn't think much of defense attorney George Laughrun.

He doesn't think much of Andrew Murray either accusing him of "punting" the case, and expecting voters will take notice and apparently vote Andy out of office.

Of course he's a lawyer and you aren't, so you couldn't possibly begin to understand the evidence.

On the bright side at least he's easy to spot around town. 

Humm is that tail light out? 

CP Notes: In the interest of full disclosure CP has known both Andrew Murray and George Laughrun about 20 years. Both are very well respected lawyers and wonderful people to be around. Having friends and family who show up for roll call every day makes it easy to laugh at someone like Tim Emry as well. So, let's be careful out there. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WBTV "CMPD Officers Say Morale Is Low and Distrust Is High

You think?

For months Cedar Posts has been telling WBTV yappers and talking heads like Sharon Smith that they should be asking hard questions of Rodney Monroe. Instead they have Brigetta Mack interview Chief Monroe in what turns out to be a "love fest". Apparently now that Chief Monroe is gone some are asking the boots on the street.

From WBTV:        

From the moment Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick was charged in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, some police officers expressed concerns that the department moved too quickly to file criminal charges. 

Now, 23 months after the shooting - and with the jury deliberating - some officers say morale is low and distrust is high. WBTV talked with some officers who say there's a strong feeling that the department sacrificed an officer when they charged Kerrick, and some are angry with the command staff for taking action before all the facts were known.  

"That can be said of anything that's going on - whether it's an internal investigation or criminal investigation - you're always going to have a group of officers that are going to question command, always going to question their supervisors," said Todd Walther of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). "You're going to have some that are going to question it. Some are still positive that we have the right people in the right places."

CMPD declined WBTV's request for an interview.

Some officers, who don't want to be identified because they're afraid supervisors will retaliate, believe there was an abuse of authority and a rush to judgment when Kerrick was charged hours after the shooting in 2013. Some say they now don't trust their supervisors. 

Walther, of the FOP, said, "We know that is a strong community and whether it's divided by a few outsiders, we'll still come together."

During the trial, several officers took the stand. Some testified for the defense, others for the state. 

The jury will resume deliberations Wednesday morning. Officers are watching closely.
"I can speak for the FOP, our membership," Walther said. "Everybody is on pins and needles - anxious. We're still confident. We still are here to support the Kerrick family and Wes Kerrick."

On the streets, some officers are wondering whether they have the support of the command staff.

They're concerned that if they do their jobs and residents complain - will the department support them or abandon them? 

Police sources say officers are hoping Chief Kerr Putney will address their concerns. But they say they're watching to see how the command staff reacts if there's a verdict that leads to backlash and protests.