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New grand jury indicts Charlotte police officer who shot unarmed man

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police via AP file

Officer Randall Kerrick

Less than a week after one grand jury declined to charge him, a different one has indicted a Charlotte, N.C., police officer for voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed man who was looking for help after a car crash.

 Prosecutors resubmitted the case against Officer Randall Kerrick after learning not all 18 members of the original grand jury were present for last Tuesday's vote.

Kerrick, 28, a three-year veteran of the Charlotte police force, shot Jonathan Ferrell, 24, 10 times in a confrontation in September. Ferrell had crashed his car and staggered for help to a nearby home, where the resident called 911 to report a possible break-in.

Ferrell's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit earlier this month, arguing that autopsy results showing a downward trajectory by most of the 10 bullets suggested the former Florida A&M University football player was on his knees or on the ground.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department supported the charge against Kerrick, saying his actions were "excessive."

After the first grand jury voted not to indict, Kerrick's attorney had said the officer felt "like the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders."

His legal team declined comment on Monday.

Ferrell's family said they were grateful for the indictment.

"Shooting an unarmed man 10 times can never be justified under these circumstances," the said. "We will persevere in our quest for justice for not just Jonathan, but all law abiding citizens. After all, what happened to him that night could happen to any of us."


Grand jury declines to indict NC cop who killed former FAMU footballer looking for help

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