From This mornings Charlotte Observer:
In a rare and unexpected move, a grand jury declined to indict Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick for voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, instead asking prosecutors to submit a lesser charge.
The defense claimed victory. The attorney general said his office planned to bring the charges against Kerrick before the grand jury again because some members of Tuesday’s panel were missing.
The number of absences and whether they had anything to do with the Kerrick case are not known. What is clear is that enough grand jury members felt the evidence presented against Kerrick did not support the manslaughter charge.
And they said so in writing.
“We the Grand Jury respectfully request that the district attorney submit a bill of indictment to a lesser-included or related offense,” the jury’s foreperson said in a hand-written note released by the clerk of court’s office late in the afternoon.
Kerrick was charged in connection with the Sept. 14 shooting death of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, who was unarmed at the time. The former Florida A&M football player was struck 10 times.
The rest of the story us here http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/21/4629367/grand-jury-asks-for-lesser-charge.html#.Ut-ZDWtHaSO
N.C. Rep. Rodney Moore, a Charlotte Democrat, said something was “clearly done wrong for an unarmed man to be shot continuously.” He said CMPD needs more diversity training for officers and Kerrick should be held accountable.
The Rev. Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte’s NAACP chapter, called the decision “the most despicable thing I’ve ever seen.”Chris Chestnut, the attorney for Ferrell described the shooting as “cold-blooded murder” by a “rogue cop.”
North Carolina law allows the use of lethal force by police “only when it appears reasonably necessary ... to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.”
One of the clarifying gauges: Would another “reasonable officer” in the same situation act the same way?
Of the three officers who responded to the 911 call on Sept. 14, only Kerrick, the least experienced, fired his gun.
But CMPD directives and training dictate that this is how it should be done. Kerrick drew his weapon after the other Officers drew their tasers. Tasers are in some cases just as rare and without a doubt the oter Officers felt threatened or they would not have both fired their tasers. When Ferrell did not comply and the taser did not stop him Kerrick felt threatened and advanced the protocol to deadly force.
Admitedly one shot would have been enough, but in the darkness and confusion adrenalin surging through his body Kerrick had no control of how many times he fired the weapon.
Fear is a unpredictable factor. I have seen police dash cam videos of Officers in justified shoots where the subject is down the gun is empty and the Officer is still pulling the trigger.
CMPD Officers don't need more diversity training, they just need more training. And so do people who have encounters with police. Stop means stop, and had Ferrell been trained to respect the Police in the first place this would not have happened.