When news broke that 24-year-old former FAMU football player Jonathan Ferrell was killed by police last month, the subject of police brutality was once again pushed into national spotlight.
Civil rights groups praised Charlotte’s Police department for quickly charging Kerrick with manslaughter.
Now law enforcement departments across the country are criticizing those fast charges.
Most police departments, including the one in Charlotte, usually take weeks — sometimes months — to complete an investigation of a shooting involving an officer. But the decision to quickly charge Officer Randall Kerrick is drawing sharp criticism from police groups and being followed closely by law enforcement departments across the country. Critics call the department’s move a rush to judgment and say it will have a chilling effect on officers in the field.
Randy Hagler, president of the North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police argues that it “shakes their confidence because, like it or not, most cops like to think their department has their back.”
Others contend that officers may be put at risk as they may hesitate when they are justified in taking action.
On September 14, Ferrell’s car ran off the road and crashed into trees. He kicked out the back window and ran to a resident’s home seeking help. The woman inside called 911, thinking that he was a burglar. Officer Kerrick and two other policemen responded to the call, finding Ferrell just a few feet from the home. Ferrell, who was unarmed, ran towards the officers and was struck by 10 of the 12 bullets fired by Kerrick. He died instantly.
Kerrick has been charged with manslaughter and is out on bond.
Thoughts on the police groups’ stance?
Is this just another way for the officers to claim victim?
Sound off below!