KERRICK CASE EXPOSES A DIVIDE WITHIN CMPD
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.
“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 here. Cedar'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.