Originally published 14 hours ago on: Sep 18, 2013 @ 10:32am
From Australia News:
A US police officer was charged with voluntary manslaughter after shooting a man who ran towards police for help after being involved in a car accident.
The victim, Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, played football for Florida A&M University in 2009-10, school officials said Sunday.
Ferrell was seeking help at a nearby house early on Saturday after driving a vehicle that crashed into trees in northeast Charlotte, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. A woman answered the door and, when she didn’t recognise the man, called the police emergency dispatcher.
Officers responding to the breaking-and-entering call found Ferrell a short distance from the home, police said. As they approached him, Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.
Police called Ferrell and Kerrick’s initial encounter ”appropriate and lawful.” But in a statement late Saturday, they said “the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive” and “Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Police said Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, which under North Carolina law involves killing without malice using “excessive force” in exercising “imperfect self-defence.”
This story is in the BBC news, the Daily Mail (UK), Buzzfeed and (of all places) Fox Sports. And although I subscribe to many major online US newspapers, not one has featured this story in an email alert or front page headlines. I suspect gun-related deaths in the US have become so frequent that only multiple shootings are getting air time and front page press.
And (annoyingly enough) In none of the posted stories have I found the date this actully took place – although I’m sure it must be a recent event. I miss the days when journalists opened their reports with the date of the event, the place of the event and the names of the main persons involved. These days it can be a treasure hunt just to find the date and time of the post one is reading.
But I digress. Jonathon was shot 10 times while trying to get help after emerging from a car accident and walking over a half mile. His body was in shock. He was mentally and emotionally disoriented and probably scared. But because he was also big, black and male his physical movements were perceived as dangerous.Shoot first and ask questions later. This is the way of the future? Really?
Shame on you,
It happened this last weekend. I was at the court house yesterday and there were reporters/camera crews from the local affiliates (cbs and fox) and I also saw a CNN truck there. Here’s the local newspaper:
The linked story is complete with video. For me, this is an eye-opening, heart-breaking tale of a police officer who never should have been issued a gun.