Ferrell's family sues CMPD citing excessive force

Randall Kerrick
Randall Kerrick
Jonathan Ferrell
Jonathan Ferrell

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A family is suing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, saying the department used excessive force in the fatal shooting of a former Florida A&M football player.

The lawsuit says 23-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was unarmed when he was killed last year.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office said Monday it would seek an indictment against police officer Randall Kerrick.

Kerrick is white and is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Ferrell, who is black.

Ferrell had pounded on the door of a home for help after wrecking his car. But the woman in the home thought he was a robber and called 911.

Three officers responded to the call, but Kerrick was the only one who fired his gun.

The lawsuit questions the hiring and training of police officers and says Kerrick was negligent in his use of excessive force.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe responded to questions about the lawsuit, Monday evening. Monroe said he expected the lawsuit.

"I've always continued to offer my heartfelt condolences to the Ferrell family for what they are experiencing right now," Monroe said.

Criminal attorney Christopher Chestnut called the lawsuit part of the family's path to justice and said they have repeatedly been denied information on Kerrick's personnel file.

"We have unmitigated respect for law enforcement -- the sacrifices they make, the sacrifices their families make," said Chestnut. He added that the city and Chief need to be held accountable in their roles to be responsible for training and hiring.

He said the goal is to prevent a death like Ferrell's from happening again.

The City of Charlotte provided a brief comment after the lawsuit was filed:

"The civil lawsuit filed by Mr. Ferrell's estate against the City, Officer Kerrick, and Chief Monroe was expected", said City Attorney Bob Hagemann.

"In light of the pending criminal charges against Officer Kerrick, it would be inappropriate to comment on the lawsuit other than to reiterate the City's and Chief Monroe's expression of sympathy for Mr. Ferrell's family.

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