Judge OKs camera in the courtroom during trial for deadly officer-involved shooting

Judge OKs camera in the courtroom during trial for deadly officer-involved shooting

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You will be able to see and hear the testimony from inside the trial of Officer Randall Wes Kerrick. The judge will allow a camera in the coutroom.

When a lawyer representing WBTV and other media outlets argued Thursday why a camera would benefit the public he said it was about increasing understanding about the judicial process and acceptance of the verdict.

Cameras will be allowed inside the Kerrick trial, but no live streaming. Reporters will be allowed laptops but no internet access or Twitter.

Officer Kerrick is facing his voluntary manslaughter charge for the death of Jonathan Ferrell in 2013. With a jury selected, opening statements will begin Monday.

Almost the entire trial will be recorded by a camera.

Judge Robert Ervin ruled Friday a pool camera can be in the courtroom, and asked the media to abide by the existing rules for the Mecklenburg County courthouse and that the camera does not record the autopsy photos.

"Judges are more likely now to allow cameras in the courtroom for the reasons that the media has argued that full access is certainly in the public's best interest," said lawyer Monroe Whitesides.

The trial begins Monday but some are concerned about the verdict.

"When there's ignorance, and ignorance is lack of understanding, when there's ignorance anything can happen but if you educate and you bring those things to the forefront then you'll definitely put yourself in a better situation," said Airren Dabney.

Airren Dabney is part of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church's security team.  He went Friday to the CMPD's security training and asked officers how houses of worship can help the police department during Kerrick's trial.

"How can we partnership with CMPD to help squall whether it be positive or negative outcomes that may come of that since in the faith based community we are entrenched into the community, the youth, what's going on, just try to help out," said Dabney.

Deputy Chief Vicki Foster answered his question and said we want people to be held accountable but church leaders can be helpful in preparing their congregations for any outcome.

"In an event it doesn't turn out the way you want it to be whether it's for or against, we want you to talk to your congregation especially the youth about how to participate when things that they don't agree with how to do that constructively. Going to a mall, turning over clothes and breaking into stores is not what we want," Foster said.

Community leaders will have time preparing for a verdict, this trial is expected to take at least a month.

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