Fri January 24, 2014
150 Protest Grand Jury's Decision Not To Indict In Shooting of Jonathan Ferrell
More than 150 people rallied at a church in northeast Charlotte Thursday night to protest a grand jury decision not to indict a Charlotte police officer for the death of an unarmed man he shot 10 times.
Charlotte NAACP President Kojo Nantambu took the stage at Next Level Ministries and said he’s angry and not afraid to show it.
“The least that you could say, something is wrong with the system that we live in, something is wrong when a man can be shot 12 times, something is wrong in this country," Nantambu said.
CMPD officer Randall Kerrick shot at 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell twelve times in mid-September, hitting him 10 times. Police were responding to a report of an early morning break-in, but Ferrell was seeking help after wrecking his car. Two other officers were also on the scene but did not fire a shot.
It was clear that many in this crowd believe Ferrell, an African-American, would be alive if he was white like officer Kerrick. John Barnett, founder of True Healing Under God, organized the rally:
"I'm trying to figure out: What does 14 jurors and one attorney general don't see that people in Africa see?" Barnett asked. "That all of us see. What do they not see?"
He called for the release of the dash-cam video, which a judge blocked the public release of in October.
One of the audience members, Cheryl Gwin, says she was surprised when she heard the news earlier this week that a grand jury decided not to indict Kerrick and instead requested prosecutors submit a lesser charge.
"It should have been some type of indictment, but you know we really don't know what's going on, who was the grand jury, why this happened," Gwin says. "But it wasn't a just decision."
Attorney General Roy Cooper agrees. His office, which is handling the case, will present the original voluntary manslaughter charge on Monday before another grand jury.
Another protest is planned for outside the courthouse where grand jurors will meet, and Gwin says she’ll be there.