Killing of Jonathan Ferrell

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Killing of Jonathan Ferrell
DateSeptember 14, 2013
LocationCharlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
TypeHomicide by shooting, police killing
DeathsJonathan Ferrell
AccusedRandall Kerrick
ChargesVoluntary manslaughter
VerdictHung jury, case will not be retried by Roy Cooper[1]
LitigationFerrell's family filed a lawsuit against the City of Charlotte; settled for $2.25 million
Jonathan Ferrell
BornOctober 11, 1988
DiedSeptember 14, 2013(2013-09-14) (aged 24)
Bradfield Farms, Charlotte, North Carolina
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
Alma materFlorida A&M University
OccupationFormer football scholarship player for the Florida A&M Rattlers
RelativesMorris A. Young (cousin)

On September 14, 2013, Jonathan Ferrell (born October 11, 1988),[2] a 24-year-old former college football player for the Florida A&M University Rattlers was involved in a car crash. When police arrived, he ran towards them and was shot by police officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick in Charlotte, North Carolina.[3] Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, but the jury deadlocked and he was not retried. Police dashcam footage of the incident was released to the public.


Ferrell, a black man, was unarmed at the time he was shot. While giving a co-worker a lift home on the night of September 14, 2013,[4] he crashed his car, went to a house in the Bradfield Farms neighborhood and from spoken testimony of the homeowner, Ferrill frantically banged and kicked on the door giving the idea he was trying to break in. The resident, Sarah McCartney, scared and in fear of potentially facing an intruder, called the police and three officers came.[5][6][7][8]

Ferrell then ran towards them, whereupon one of the officers, Thornel Little, fired a taser at Ferrell and missed. Little testified that Ferrell had said "shoot me" twice as he ran up on the officers. Kerrick then opened fire on Ferrell, shooting him twelve times and killing him, fearing that the subject had a weapon or was otherwise displaying opportunity, capability, and intent to seriously harm Kerrick and his fellow officers.[3]

A toxicology test of Ferrell's blood showed a blood alcohol level within the legal limit for driving.[8]

Legal proceedings[edit]

The day following the shooting, Officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, and was released on $45,000 bail from jail. On January 21, 2014, a grand jury declined to indict Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter.[9] On January 27, a second grand jury did indict Kerrick on a voluntary manslaughter charge.[10] On August 21, 2015, a 26th District judge declared a mistrial in the case after the jury reached a deadlock, with eight jurors on one side and four on the other.[4] The Attorney General of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, said that the state would not re-try Kerrick.[5][6]

On May 14, 2015, the city of Charlotte settled a separate lawsuit with Ferrell's family for $2.25 million.[11][12]


Ferrell's cousin, Morris A. Young (Sheriff of Gadsden County, Florida), said of the incident that Ferrell had always been on the right track and was only looking for help after getting into a traffic collision late at night, yet "the next thing you know, law enforcement comes and sees a young black male at night in that neighborhood. And sometimes people react to that."[13]

On August 21, 2015, after the mistrial declaration, protesters took to the streets of Charlotte. Several areas of the city were shut down as a result, and two people were arrested.[14]

On October 2, 2015, Kerrick resigned from the police force.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Berlinger, Joshua; Mann, Gigi (August 28, 2015). "Prosecutors won't seek retrial for officer in Charlotte shooting death". CNN. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "". Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Katz, Jonathan M. (August 22, 2015). "Mistrial for Charlotte Police Officer in Death of Unarmed Black Man". New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Cooke, Christina (August 22, 2015). "Mistrial for officer and no justice for unarmed man: family vows to fight on". The Guardian. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Police officer accused in fatal shooting resigns from force". The Charlotte Observer. The Associated Press. October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.[dead link]
  6. ^ a b c "Police Officer Accused in Fatal Shooting Resigns From Force". BET. October 8, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  7. ^ "Mistrial for Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Black Man in North Carolina". Newsweek. Reuters. August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Leland, Elizabeth (August 1, 2015). "The tragic path from a 911 call to a fatal confrontation". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  9. ^ Ford, Dana (January 21, 2014). "No indictment for Charlotte officer who shot Jonathan Ferrell". CNN. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  10. ^ McLaughlin, Eliott (January 27, 2014). "2nd grand jury indicts officer in shooting of ex-FAMU football player". CNN. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Gordon, Michael (May 14, 2015). "Charlotte settles with Jonathan Ferrell's family for $2.25 million in police shooting". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  12. ^ Post, The Washington (January 19, 2016). Lethal Force: The True Toll of Police Shootings in America. Diversion Books. ISBN 9781682303757.
  13. ^ Post, The Washington (January 19, 2016). Lethal Force: The True Toll of Police Shootings in America. Diversion Books. ISBN 9781682303757.
  14. ^ "Two arrested during Kerrick trial protests in Charlotte". WTVD. August 21, 2015.