Police shoot car crash victim dead

Last updated 13:43 16/09/2013

Relevant offers

Americas

Richard Branson injured by stingray during swim in Cayman Islands Zika: 'Huge step' as research strengthens microcephaly link What's behind the global stock market selloff? Einstein's gravitational waves detected from black holes in scientific milestone Project fished 20 vehicles out of bayous Dozens dead in riot at northern Mexico prison Cleveland files claim against Tamir Rice's estate for $500 ambulance fees Severed feet still inside shoes keep mysteriously washing up on US and Canada coasts FBI moves in on last four occupiers at Oregon wildlife refuge Sikh man barred from Mexico flight over turban row sees 'small victory'

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, shot dead an unarmed man who was running toward police officers and may have been just trying to get help after crashing his car, authorities say.

A police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter for Saturday's shooting, and an attorney for the victim's family has said he believed race played a role in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, 24, who was black.

''If Mr Farrell was not black or brown, wouldn't they have asked him a few questions before showering him with bullets?'' said attorney Chris Chestnut, who said he would request all police evidence from the shooting.

Farrell, seeking help after the accident, knocked on a door in a predominantly white neighbourhood, Chestnut said.

A woman called the 911 emergency operator after Ferrell began knocking insistently on her front door about 2.30am on Saturday (local time), the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

The woman, who immediately closed the door on Ferrell after seeing it was not her husband, was likely unaware he had just crawled out of his wrecked car in nearby woods, police said.

Three police officers arrived, finding Ferrell a short distance from the woman's house. As soon as the officers got out of their vehicles, Ferrell started running toward them, police said.

One officer unsuccessfully fired a Taser at Ferrell, and he kept running. Randall Kerrick, another officer, then shot Ferrell several times with his service weapon, killing him, police said.

Police found Ferrell's wrecked car later in the morning.

The police department has placed all three officers on administrative leave while they investigate the shooting. Detectives charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter on Saturday (NZT Sunday).

''Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter,'' the police department said in a statement.

Ferrell was a former football player for Florida A&M University in Tallahassee who had recently moved to Charlotte with his fiancee to continue his studies at Johnson C. Smith University, Chestnut said.

Ferrell was on the Florida A&M roster in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, playing safety, the university said in a statement.

Chestnut, based in Atlanta, also represents the family of Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion, who was killed in a hazing incident in 2011.

Twelve former band members have been charged with manslaughter, and the family is suing the university for wrongful death.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content