Aug. 24: A breakdown of the CMPD officer manslaughter trial that ended in a mistrial

Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins fans pass by protesters supporting Jonathan Ferrell on Saturday, August 22, 2015 in Charlotte, NC. Protesters marched on Friday evening and Saturday protesting that after four days of deliberations, a mistrial was declared when the jury was unable to resolve a deadlock in the case of Randall "Wes" Kerrick. Kerrick, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer accused of killing an unarmed man, Jonathan Ferrell, in a struggle two years ago.

The emotionally charged case of the white CMPD officer accused of voluntary manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black man ended Friday in a mistrial. Here’s a breakdown of the case:

Jonathan Ferrell
Jonathan Ferrell
Randall Kerrick

The confrontation: At 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2013, Jonathan Ferrell – a 24-year-old former college football player – crashed his fiance’s car near a neighborhood in east Charlotte. He banged on a person’s home seeking help; the homeowner called police thinking somebody was trying to break in.

When officers arrived, one pointed a Taser at Ferrell, who then ran toward the officers. Officer Randall Kerrick shot 12 times, striking Ferrell 10 times.

The trial: Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter. The case took about three weeks and focused heavily on a dashcam video that captured part of the confrontation. Kerrick said he feared for his life when Ferrell ran toward him.

The verdict: After three days of deliberating, the jury was deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal on Friday. The judge later that day declared a mistrial. Race was not a part of their decision-making, according to the jury’s foreman. Prosecutors must now decide whether to retry Kerrick.

The protests: Friday and Saturday, a modest but passionate number of protesters took to the streets, with the most tense situation outside Knights Stadium Friday night when protesters and some people at the ballgame yelled at each other.

In other news … 

MEXICAN TAKEOVER: Look for a new Mexican restaurant, Hot Taco, to open in the old Greek Isles spot off the light rail line in South End by mid-September. The emphasis will be on authentic Mexican and a fun atmosphere – including eventually mariachi bands and DJs. Greek Isles plans to re-open, possibly in South End. hottaco VIDEO STORE KEEPS HANGING ON: VisArt Video has lasted on Elizabeth’s Seventh Street for 30 years, but by the end of this week is opening further east in the Eastway Crossings Shopping Center. The store will offer some 30,000 titles.

“IT’S MY NAME, AND I WORKED FOR IT”:  So said Michael Jordan after a jury ordered defunct grocery store chain Dominick’s to pay Jordan $8.9 million for using his name in a steak commercial without his permission. Yeah, we know he doesn’t need it. He knows it too – he’s giving it all to charity.

IN OTHER DEVELOPMENT NEWS: AMC Carolina 22 off South Boulevard is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation that will bring in recliners, new screens and sound systems and possibly a bar. … Pizzeria Omaggio takes the place of Revolution Pizza at the Metropolitan. … Zablong Pizza is coming to Brevard Court.

Photo: Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer


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