The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, is pulling back its financial support of the officer who fatally shot unarmed Jonathan Ferrell back in 2013.
WSOC-TV recently reported that the city has stopped paying the civil defense legal fees for officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick, who has been charged with voluntary manslaughter following the fatal shooting of the 24-year-old former Florida A&M football star.
The city has already paid more than $20,000 in legal fees for the officer as he battles a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Ferrell’s family, but it was recently announced that he won’t be receiving another penny from the city.
City Manager Ron Carleen explained that it just wasn’t right to continue to financially support the officer after he had been charged with a crime.
“A 1977 City Council policy provides that the city will not defense a lawsuit against an employee who willfully acted in a manner as to constitute a criminal act,” Carleen explained, according to News One. “I have decided that it would be inconsistent and untenable for the city to defend Officer Kerrick in the civil lawsuit due to the fact that CMPD [Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department] charged Officer Kerrick with a crime.”
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, Rodney Monroe, saw the video evidence from that night and stated that deadly force was not justified on that fateful night.
It was a tragic night for Ferrell and his fiancée, Cache Heidel.
Ferrell had recently moved out to North Carolina to be with his soon-to-be wife, but after the couple was involved in a serious car accident, things took a turn for the worse.
Ferrell was able to kick out his back window and made his way to a nearby cluster of homes in order to get help for his fiancée.
When he knocked on one woman’s door, she answered the door before slamming it in Ferrell’s face and calling the police.
Once police were on the scene, Ferrell wasn’t given the option to explain the situation before shots were fired – as captured on the police dashboard camera, according to News One.
A dozen shots were fired at Ferrell, 10 hit their target.
Toxicology reports proved Ferrell didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system.
“I can tell you this is what I saw,” Ferrell’s family’s attorney, Chris Chestnut, said as he recalled the police dashboard camera footage. “Absolutely, unequivocally, there were no words said, period, from any of the officers prior to Jonathan being hit with a stun gun.”
Ferrell did not fall to the ground after being hit with the stun gun and that’s when Kerrick fired several shots at him.
Chestnut said officers could be heard telling Ferrell to get on the ground, but it was so close to the time that the bullets were fired that it was difficult to tell which came first – the order or the shots.
Either way, Chestnut says, Kerrick acted out of line.
“But I can tell you that those shots were in such close proximity that Jonathan never had an opportunity to reply,” he said. “He had bullets in him before he could ever hit the ground. So there was not sufficient warning. No one ever told him to stop. He didn’t have time to react.”