Different legal process, comparing Ferguson to Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

Different legal process, comparing Ferguson to Charlotte

In the days, weeks and months after unarmed Jonathan Ferrell was shot by Officer Randall Kerrick, it became almost normal to see protestors.  However, they haven't gathered since the day of indictment.

Activist Robert Dawkins was part of the crowd watching then, and he was watching the scene unfold in Ferguson, Missouri last night. Violence erupted after Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed. The grand jury decided not to indict Wilson.

"That could be anybody," said Dawkins, talking about the violence. "What alleviates that possibility is having transparency, accountability and an open dialogue."

Dawkins says leadership in Charlotte served the community better in several ways.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter the same day of the shooting. District Attorney Andrew Murray called on a special prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office to handle the case. Also, when the first grand jury failed to return an indictment, that prosecutor resubmitted the case and got an indictment the second time.

Kerrick's attorneys have argued their client is innocent and acted in self-defense within the boundaries of his job. They tried to stop the state from taking the case to a second grand jury. However, the indictment does ensure the both sides will be heard in open court.

It took the second grand jury less than four hours to indict Officer Kerrick. In Ferguson, the prosecutor presented an unusually large amount of evidence over the course of 25 days which included 60 witnesses.

Ferrell family attorney Charles Monnett, III says  he believes there would have been greater outrage and frustration within the Charlotte community without an indictment. He and Dawkins both say the process still could have been improved.

There's another similarity in the cases, which also illustrates a big difference in leadership. Both officers fired their weapons 12 times at the victim.

"The difference is, I knew officer Kerrick fired 12 shots from the police department the same day that it happened," said Dawkins. "That's a big difference. We're talking transparency and accountability," he said.

Monnett said he believes the cases show why police officers need to wear body cameras and why a national database should be created to  track use of force cases.


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It's also about leadership and connection to the community.
Still -- Charles Monnett said these cases show why police need body cameras and the country needs a national database to track use of force.








 

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