Charlotte NAACP leader wants to see body cameras on police officers

Call for officers to wear body cameras
Jonathan Ferrell
Jonathan Ferrell
Randall Kerrick
Randall Kerrick

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The NAACP held a vigil Tuesday night to honor the memory of Jonathan Ferrell, the unarmed man reportedly shot to death by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Randall Kerrick in 2013.

The vigil, which was attended by about 25 people, came just two days after the one-year anniversary of the shooting.

In the early morning of September 14, 2013, police say Ferrell wrecked his car on an unfamiliar road and knocked on the door of a nearby home. The woman who was alone at the home called police.

Three CMPD officers responded to the call, but officials say Kerrick was the only one to fire his gun.

Ferrell, who was shot ten times, was pronounced dead at the scene. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter and is scheduled to be in court in 2015.

Many say had Kerrick been wearing a body camera, the case would already be solved.

On Monday, President Obama announced that he favored local law enforcement departments using body cameras after 150,000 people signed an online petition.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe agrees.

"Having our officers out there equipped with body cameras not only provides the level of trust within our community, but from a technology perspective, it gives us a lot more," Monroe told WBTV this past summer.

Monroe asked Charlotte City Council members for $250,000 to pay for the cameras, but $500,000 worth of cameras will hit the street thanks to private donations from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Foundation.

People at the vigil Tuesday night say the body cameras should always be rolling. They say if they are, the only story to get out will be the true story.

"They may forget to turn on the body cam. I want to make sure there are rules and regulations," NAACP Charlotte President Kojo Nantambu said.

Currently, CMPD is the largest police force in the area without the technology. Smaller departments like the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office and Cherryville Police Department have been using the cameras for months.

CMPD expects to have their cameras in place in the coming weeks.

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