Jonathan A. Ferrell was a 24-year-old former football player for Florida A&M University who worked two jobs and moved to North Carolina to be with his fiancée.
On Saturday, the car Ferrell was driving crashed into trees off a northeast Charlotte road. The wreck was so severe that Ferrell would have had to climb out of the back window to escape, the Associated Press reported.
An obviously shaken Ferrell walked about a half-mile to the nearest house and was “banging on the door viciously” to attract attention, police say.
The woman who lived there opened the door, and when she saw Ferrell, shut it and called police at about 2:30 a.m.
When officers arrived, Ferrell ran toward police, who attempted to stop him with a Taser. He continued to approach them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell 10 times and killing him.
“I truly forgive him. I pray for him. And I pray that he gets off the police force,” said Georgia Ferrell, the victim’s mother. “You took a piece of my heart that I can never get back.”
Read More –Man In A Car Crash Shot by Police.
Jonathan Ferrell’s family says it is not an issue of race
You took a piece out of my heart that can never be put back, but I do forgive you. I truly forgive you,” said Georgia Ferrell.
His relatives want answers about why police shot and killed an unarmed man, but they do not believe skin color is a factor to focus on.
“I think this was poor decision making. I think this is more a reflection of where we are as a country that perhaps we need to stop, pause, regardless of race and become more sympathetic to each other,” said Georgia Ferrell.
This in the Nation wonders if Race was and issue
Officer Kerrick was the only policeman to take out his gun and fire, which raises questions about their description of Ferrell as “charging” towards them after being tasered. According to The Charlotte Observer, police actually said initially that Kerrick’s actions were “appropriate and lawful.”
Yet the brazenness of the shooting, the absence of any evidence Ferrell was under the influence of anything other than a possible concussion, and the fact that there was really no way to spin this, meant that Kerrick was quickly arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter. According to North Carolina law, “voluntary manslaughter” means that Kerrick acted with “imperfect self-defense.”
The police statement said that “the evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive. Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Via The Nation
This article in the Daily Kos KNOWS race was an Issue
On Saturday, a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man. Jonathan Ferrell was in a horrific car accident and ran towards three police officers seeking help, just like any reasonable person in a crisis would do.
Again, a black man in America who is interacting with the police is not given the presumption of being a full citizen, innocent until proven guilty, and perhaps in need of assistance.
For the White Gaze, “black” and “male” equals threat and violence.
This is part of a historic pattern of stereotyping and threat in the United States, one which still looms over the popular imagination in the present. There, Jonathan Ferrell, we, those of us black and male, are “giant negroes” possessed of natural ill will, malevolence, and a proclivity to kill and rape as “black brutes” who must be shot dead whenever possible.
Sometimes black men are “armed” with “dehumanizing stares”. In other instances, our waving empty handed at the police is interpreted as a violent act. Cans of iced tea, bags of skittles, house keys, flashlights, and other objects are magically transformed into means for legitimating our own murder and assault by the police and White authority figures. The power of our empty hands against those armed with guns is legendary.
Read the Rest at – Daily Kos:
We are wondering what our readers think. Was race and issue or was this a tragic accident that could have happened to anyone no matter the color of ones skin?