The family of a former football player for Florida A&M University, who was fatally shot by Charlotte police, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against several parties.
CNN reports that Georgia Ferrell, the mother of the victim, filed the civil suit in connection with her son’s death in September of last year. Defendants named in the lawsuit include the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Police Chief Rodney Monroe and Officer Randall Kerrick.
Last September, 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell crashed his car in a residential area at around 2:30 a.m. and had to break through the back windshield in order to exit the vehicle. Ferrell knocked on the door of a nearby home, seeking help. The resident of the home, a woman who was alone with her 1-year-old child, believed that someone was trying to break in and called 911, reports CNN.
After the resident called police and activated her home security system, Ferrell left the home to look for help elsewhere. The lawsuit alleges that responding police, including Kerrick and two other officers, arrived on the scene in 11 minutes and sought out the injured, unarmed Ferrell rather than speaking with the woman who had called 911.
According to CNN, police reported that Ferrell had acted in a threatening manner when they approached, describing the interaction with the victim through words like “charged,” “ran” and “advanced.” At one point, an officer claims to have unsuccessfully attempted to subdue Ferrell using a stun gun.
The lawsuit alleges that Officer Kerrick used “stealth and surprise” to approach Ferrell, and that the injured victim would not have understood the officer’s intentions. It is surmised in the lawsuit that Ferrell’s enthusiastic approach stemmed from relief that assistance had arrived. However, the lawsuit states, “Defendant Kerrick, in direct violation of written CMPD regulations, fires 12 high-velocity bullets at Jonathan, striking him 10 times in the chest and arms.”
Kerrick, who is currently free on $50,000 bond, has been criminally charged with felony voluntary manslaughter, as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department has called the shooting “unlawful,” reports CNN. Ferrell’s surviving family seeks unspecified damages of more than $10,000 and hopes the lawsuit “will lead to changes in the way Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trained.”
If you or a loved one are considering a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit, our dedicated Raleigh attorneys may be able to help you. Contact Kelly & West today to discuss the details of your case.
NOTE: Kelly & West is not representing the family in this case.
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