CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The group True Healing Under God (T.H.U.G.) wants the state's attorney to charge CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick with murder. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter after police said he used excessive force when he shot and killed an unarmed man. His name was Jonathan Ferrell.
"Today we stand here encouraging officials," T.H.U.G. Founder John Barnett said. "Encouraging all of them to make sure they go forth with a full fledge murder charge."
T.H.U.G. stood in front of the Government Center Friday to announce their request. They will be contacting the Attorney General about their mission.
"We do plan to send emails," Barnett said. "And petition the Attorney General because obviously he has some say so over initiating and upgrading those particular charges."
State Attorney Roy Cooper responded to the group's request.
"We will do a thorough investigation," Cooper said. "We will carefully examine the facts and the law. And prosecutors who are looking at this case will determine what the appropriate charges are."
We asked if murder charges could be a possibility.
"I can't comment on that at this point." the State's Attorney said.
Cooper says his office will not be swayed by public outcry.
"The decision of the prosecutors of this office," Cooper said. "Will depend upon the facts and the law."
Barnett believes the punishment for voluntary manslaughter is not harsh enough if Kerrick is convicted. That's what they want murder charge. They wonder why Kerrick was the only officer with his weapon drawn on the night he encountered Ferrell.
"I heard there were other officers there," Barnett said. "But they didn't pull their gun. They didn't pull their trigger. Trying to figure out what's going on in the mindset of this individual and today we pray for him."
Kerrick's lawyer told WBTV he has no comment about the push for murder charges. He says his client will have his day in court.
No word on how long the state's investigation will take.