Officials have reported former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell was shot ten times by police officer Randall Kerrick. Law enforcement officials stated no verbal threats were issued to the female homeowner that called 9-1-1. Ferrell simply was trying to get help after he crashed his car in a rural back wooded area on the outskirts of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 9-1-1 tapes reveal the actual statements that set the sequence of events in motion that led up to Ferrell’s demise. The woman said she opened the door at 2:30 a.m. after hearing knocking, she assumed it was her husband returning home. After seeing Ferrell, she reportedly shut the door and called police.
The woman said Ferrell tried to enter her home and she told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that he was a big 210-pound black man. In addition, she said her baby was in the crib. The woman repeatedly asked, “Where are the cops?” The 9-1-1 tape was released to the public by the city and gives a description of what might have been passed on to the police in regards to the call.
The tapes revealed the woman crying and sobbing for help. She reportedly had trouble catching her breath because of her encounter. The dispatcher can be heard on the tapes trying to comfort the woman. She affirmed her comments saying, they were on the way over and over to the woman. The woman also said to the dispatcher of her baby, “He’s in his bed. I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe I opened the door…Please don’t let him get my baby.”
The family of the former Florida A&M football player said he had moved to Charlotte to be with his fiancée and couldn’t believe police shot him ten times. They said he worked two jobs and planned to go back to school to be educated as an automotive engineer. Jonathan Ferrell was a former defensive free safety for the FAMU rattlers.
An attorney for the Ferrell family questioned if race was a factor in the incident. The woman that reported the call was white and Ferrell is a black man. NAACP representatives are also curious of the incident and plan to conduct their own inquiry. Observers close to the case note that city police officials responded quickly and appropriately to the incident.
Randall Kerrick, 27, has been formerly charged of voluntary manslaughter and could face prison time if convicted in a court of law. It is not clear if he will remain on the city’s payroll while he answers to his charges in the death of Jonathan Ferrell. It was reported that a taser was used before Ferrell was shot by the officer. Kerrick was a former animal control officer and was raised in Cabarrus County near the Charlotte area.
It is unclear as to the reasoning of why the former Florida A&M football player had to be shot at twelve times by police. It is speculated that popular culture could be the answer with the infliction of racial violence in regards to black males. Observers continue to wait for further information as the case develops against Kerrick in the North Carolina judicial system.
By Thomas Barr