Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in Saturday’s shooting death of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, but the head of Charlotte’s Chapter of the NAACP says a charge of manslaughter is not enough.
Kerrick’s attorney appeared before a judge Tuesday afternoon. His client did not attend the short hearing, where prosecutor Bruce Little announced the formal charge against Kerrick and said his next court date would be Oct. 7. That gives prosecutors three weeks to review the police department’s evidence and decide if they will take the case to a grand jury.
After the hearing, Kerrick’s attorneys made a short but confident statement.
“We’re going to allow this case to be tried in a court of law,” said defense attorney Mike Greene. “However, we’re confident at the resolution of this case and that it will be found that Officer Kerrick’s actions were justified on the night in question.”
But even before attorney Green finished talking, Charlotte NAACP president Rev. Kojo Nantambu said the charge does not fit the crime. NAACP leaders held a rally Monday before they heard that Ferrell had been shot 10 times. In a statement, Nantambu said that fact changes things, calling the crime “a brutal killing and execution.”
“I now say and will be lobbying for murder. No other charge will suffice,” Nantambu said Tuesday night. “Manslaughter is definitely not enough, with that many shots and nobody else is shooting, I think it should be murder.” Watch Nantambu’s press conference below.