Why CMPD Arrested Officer Randall Kerrick

A look at the deliberations that led to manslaughter charge


Published:

Jury selection in the manslaughter trial of Officer Randall Kerrick begins today.

Courtesy

On September 14, 2013, the day Jonathan Ferrell died, it took the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department less than 18 hours to arrest the man who shot and killed him. That man was Randall Kerrick, a CMPD officer who is now facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter. It's the first time in more than 30 years that a CMPD officer has been charged for shooting a suspect. Jury selection in his trial begins today.

Kerrick, 29, has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers maintain that the shooting was justified. But investigators at CMPD saw the case differently. Our July feature, "Lines of Duty," describes what happened that morning in the Bradfield Farms neighborhood east of uptown. Then-CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe visited the scene of the shooting, which ended with the 24-year-old Ferrell lying in a ditch, his body riddled with 10 bullets.

Back at police headquarters. Monroe spoke to his detectives and reviewed witness statements. Here's an excerpt from the story about what happened next. It shows that even within CMPD, there are conflicting versions of events:

ONE PIECE of evidence could help clarify what happened that morning: video from the dashboard camera of one of the police cars. But about a month after Ferrell died, a local judge issued an order prohibiting the video from being released to the public. Both prosecutors and Kerrick’s attorneys feared it would taint the jury pool.

But, of course, Monroe watched the video. After he returned from the crime scene that day, he called in his investigative team and reviewed the footage. Todd Walther, a 24-year CMPD veteran who’s in his third term as president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge #9, was at the meeting. So was [retired homicide detective Garry] McFadden, the detective says.

The three men give differing accounts of what happened that day.

They watched the video, and the major heading up the homicide investigation gave a debriefing on the case, Walther recalls. Then, according to McFadden, the chief said, “Everybody go home and come back. And we have a decision to make.”

Monroe denies saying this. He says McFadden wasn’t even at the meeting that day. But McFadden says he was. And in his opinion, “the tape and evidence spoke for itself.”

Walther wasn’t so sure. His organization wanted to know why Monroe wasn’t consulting the district attorney before pressing charges against Kerrick. “We felt that they pushed forward too quickly with charges that day,” he says.

Read the rest of the story here.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Trade & Tryon

Where Charlotte business, politics, and media intersect

Named for the crossroads that marks the dead center of a lively city, this blog contains links to interesting stories about Charlotte, serious discussion of serious news, and commentary on the local media scene. This is your blog, too. Please comment early and often. Also, look for occasional announcements about the magazine or the site.

 

About Richard

Richard Thurmond is publisher of Charlotte magazine and its sister publications. He's been on staff since 1995 and served as editor from 1999 through 2012. He thinks he is funnier than he is, which is helpful information for reading this blog. Got something to say but too chicken to comment? E-mail him.

 

About Michael

Michael Graff became the executive editor of Charlotte magazine in April 2013, after four years as an editor and writer at Our State magazine. Before that, he was the Sunday enterprise reporter for The Fayetteville Observer. Before that, he was a sports writer in Winchester, Virginia, and Rocky Mount, N.C. Before that, he was the first mate on his father's charter fishing boat in Maryland. His freelance work appears in online and print publications around the country. Email him here, or find him on twitter @michaelngraff.

Recent Posts

Archives

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Trade & Tryon Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags