Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In Case You Missed It - Observer Says "CMPD handling tragic case properly"

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released more information Tuesday about Officer Randall Kerrick’s killing of unarmed 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, and all indications are that the department is handling the case appropriately so far.

Police charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter less than 24 hours after he fatally shot Ferrell while responding to a call of a possible burglary early Saturday morning.

Police Chief Rodney Monroe on Tuesday described to the Observer editorial board what police say happened, based on a video of the incident and interviews with Kerrick and the two other officers who were there.

Ferrell, who had crashed his car in northeast Charlotte around 2:30 a.m. before knocking on the door of a nearby house, did not appear to be running to the officers for help as some have speculated, Monroe said. Ferrell did not talk to police. He walked toward the officers before running past one officer and toward Kerrick. The officers told Ferrell to stop but he didn’t, and one officer shot a Taser but missed, Monroe said.

Ferrell was about two feet away when Kerrick began shooting him 10 times, all in the torso, Monroe said. The video shows Ferrell’s hands and that he was clearly unarmed, the chief said.

Monroe said that while the 12 shots Kerrick fired were excessive, even the first shot was unwarranted. Ferrell’s failure to stop approaching the officers does not by itself justify Kerrick’s response, Monroe said.

“We have people charging at us everyday; we get in fights everyday, but at that point we’re not justified in using deadly force,” Monroe told the editorial board. “Sometimes we have to put up our hands and use our nightstick and other things and sometimes just retreat to handle the situation and it can’t automatically result in use of deadly force.”

One of Kerrick’s defense lawyers said Tuesday the shooting was justified but did not go into specifics.

The speed with which Kerrick was charged is notable, but Monroe said the same process was followed as in all police shootings. In each case, CMPD’s homicide unit investigates and determines within 24 hours whether there’s probable cause to press criminal charges. That determination was made just as quickly in other recent police shootings, Monroe said, but this was the first one in which they decided charges were warranted.

Some activists are suggesting that Kerrick is getting favorable treatment in being charged with voluntary manslaughter rather than second-degree murder. Monroe argues, though, that there was no evidence of malice on Kerrick’s part. The officer used bad judgment and excessive force in defending himself, but did not have any premeditation, Monroe said.

It’s not clear whether this situation was isolated or whether it reflects any systemic failings within CMPD. Police should determine, for themselves and the public, whether there are any improvements in officer training that could help the department avoid future shootings like this one. Monroe said the department is continually working to improve its use-of-force training and policies, and that a review team will use this case to see if there are any systemic issues that need correcting.

That’s good. In the meantime, a community and two families are sorting through a needless tragedy. A number of questions about the case remain unanswered. We applaud CMPD’s candor so far and believe it can engender more trust with the public by being as transparent as possible going forward.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, how easily you roll over for Rodney.

Seriously, sharing evidence, recordings with the family and and public at this EARLY point?? What does the DA think about this? How will this TOTAL rush to judgement affect any legal proceedings?
Did anyone go back at night and recreate the scene?
Rodney is spinning this well, but as usual, corrupt is as corrupt does.
Rodney has become the judge and the jury, folks. Hell, he no longer has to follow any reasonable LEGAL proceedings, IA is totally in his pocket, and it seems as though the DA is, too.
And the lid is on at CMPD, everyone has been instructed to spout the company line, and question nothing!
Might as well just write a check now!!
And mention lack of training at your own risk, you will be signing your own career death warrant.
Business as usual at CMPD.

Anonymous said...

if the problem that occurred is a poorly trained officer, who is responsible for putting poorly trained officers on the street?


who is responsible for keeping rodney monroe in charge?


who is responsible for keeping city manager?


Manager & Council hired him. They have kept him. They can fire him. How many more people have to die or turn their lives upside down because of this loser and our loser "leaders" ?

Anonymous said...

It's good to see that the most worthless news rag in the area approves of the way the investigation is being handled. I will sleep better tonight knowing that.

Anonymous said...

CMPD did handle this case correctly! The shooting was obviously an overreaction and not justified. I do feel badly for the officer and the victim though. This cannot be unscrewed at this point and there are no winners. I do believe that Rodney is still one of the worst leaders that the organization has ever employed though. He has surrounded himself with Bobble Heads that will agree with anything he says or does in fear of their personal gain. These same "leaders" talk behind his back but openly agree with him regardless of the idiotic decisions that he makes. I remember a time not that long ago when the department was respected and there was some collaboration among the Command Staff even when there were differences in opinions. The differences were respected and valued regardless of the final outcome. Rodney does not respect any opinion other than his own and has made this clear to everyone, lest they be cast from the circle. It is a sad chapter for the organization and hopefully it will end soon. Hopefully some of the so called "leaders" who have nosed their way into their positions will then emerge and do the right thing. We are all holding our breath!!!

Anonymous said...

Molly Grantham of wbtv says CMPD Officers receive "intensive training"......

Do a little research a little investigating please!

Get records, see how they compare to other Depts.

Why you people believe Rodney after all the lies he has been caught red handed in, just beyond me.

Yet you guys continue to buy whatever rodney is selling.

Anonymous said...

So why is Rottney talking only to the Observer? Where is his handler? Rob Tufo? Why all the hush hush and not willing to show the entire video?