Jury Deadlocks, Mistrial Declared in Police Killing of Jonathan Ferrell

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; Florida A&M Football

After four days of deliberation, a jury deadlocked in the trial of former Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., Police Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, who was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the 2013 shooting death of 24-year-old former Floridan A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell.

The 12-member jury—consisting of eight women (two African American, two Hispanic) and four men (three white, one African American)—deadlocked at 8-4, leading Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin to declare a mistrial.


Closing arguments began Aug. 18 at 9:30 a.m. and ended around 12:15 p.m. The jury was handed the case at approximately 1 p.m. that day and struggled to come to a consensus on whether or not Kerrick killed Ferrell in self-defense.

Kerrick faced up to 11 years in prison.

As previously reported on The Root, on the night of Sept. 14, 2013, Ferrell, who was unarmed, was seeking help after a severe car accident when he knocked on the door of Sarah McCartney, who was home alone with her 1-year-old child.

Instead of helping him, McCartney slammed the door in Ferrell’s face and called 911 to report that someone was forcibly breaking into her home.

Kerrick was one of several officers who responded. Once they arrived on the scene, police dash-cam footage shows Ferrell calmly approaching them before suddenly attempting to run around them at approximately the 10:09 mark.


Prosecutors argued that Ferrell ran once he saw a Taser pointed at his chest. At that point, no command for Ferrell to stop can be heard on the footage, and the police had not identified themselves. Once he runs, shouts of “Get on the ground!” can be heard before the first shots ring out at the 10:14 mark.

Kerrick shot at Ferrell 12 times—with 10 bullets piercing his body—and at least eight of those shots were fired while Ferrell was crawling on the ground.


Watch dash-cam footage of the moments leading up to the shooting below. The actual shooting is not visible, but shots can be heard.


During his testimony, Kerrick testified that Ferrell was trying to take his gun, the standard police officer response when excessive force is used.


According to CNN, “A lawsuit—that Charlotte reportedly settled this year for $2.25 million—alleges that Kerrick used ‘stealth and surprise’ in approaching Ferrell and ‘negligently failed to realize that, because of the dim lighting in the area, Jonathan would be startled, frightened and unable to see his approach and commands.’”

After dash-cam footage was reviewed by the Police Department, Kerrick was terminated from his position.


Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe (who retired July 1) said that even if Ferrell didn’t stop running on command, deadly force wasn’t justified and Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon.

In response to the mistrial, protesters have already begun to shut down the intersection around the courthouse.


During a press conference Friday, Ferrell’s family said that they want a new trial and asked for peaceful protests as they continue to seek justice for Ferrell.

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