CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Kass Ottley, a community activist in Charlotte, spent part of her Friday evening honoring the life of a man killed in an officer-involved shooting several years ago.
Jonathan Ferrell was shot and killed by former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Randall Kerrick back in 2013. The incident happened in the Reedy Creek community. Ferrell had been involved in a car accident and knocked on the door of a house after the wreck. Someone in the home called 911 and the police responded to the crash site.
Dashcam video from a police cruiser shows Jonathan Ferrell running at officers. Kerrick fired several shots at Ferrell, killing him.
Kerrick was ultimately indicted for voluntary manslaughter. His case was tried in Mecklenburg County and ended in a mistrial. Ottley has always disagreed with that outcome. She believes Kerrick should be serving prison time.
“This man (Ferrell) was unarmed. He was looking for help and instead of help, he got murdered, he got killed,” said Ottley.
The activist returned to the sight of the shooting Friday night because it is Ferrell’s birthday. She left balloons and a reef in the spot where Ferrell was shot and killed.
“It’s really upsetting. Every time I come out here, it’s just really uneasy. It’s emotional,” explained Ottley.
She thinks honoring Ferrell on his birthday serves as a reminder that police-community relations can continue to improve.
“We want to always remember Jonathan Ferrell. We always want to shed a light on what happened to him and just really let Charlotte know that Charlotte is no different than anywhere else in the world and we need to really work on our police relations, how police deal with people, how particularly police deal with people of color,” said Ottley.
The city of Charlotte settled with Ferrell's family in a civil suit before the trial and mistrial. The family received $2,250,000.