Jonathan Ferrell

September 14, 2013

On September 14, 2013, Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell (1988–2013). Jonathan, who had been driving as the designated driver for some friends, had wrecked and badly damaged his car. He had forced his way out through the rear window and then walked to the nearest house. At approximately 2:30 a.m., he knocked on the door of the home of Sarah McCartney who, when she opened the door and saw the bloodied young man, immediately called 911 to report that someone was trying to break into her house. Eleven minutes after she made the call, three police officers—one white (Kerrick) and two black—arrived at McCartney's house where Kerrick shot and killed Jonathan. Dash cam footage shows that Jonathan, unarmed and with his hands up, was running toward Kerrick, the only officer who had drawn his weapon. When Jonathan goes off frame, the camera audio records twelve shots fired. Ten of the shots hit Jonathan—eight while he was on the ground. The released 911 call reveals that McCartney, after claiming that Ferrell was trying to break into her house, immediately noted his race. Upon review of both the dash cam footage and the 911 call, Kerrick was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter. The court declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked.

Jonathan's family filed a wrongful death suit against the City of Charlotte and, in 2015, reached a $2.25 million settlement. On October 11, 2017, Jonathan's mother and younger brother, Willie, helped feed the homeless in remembrance of him on his birthday. In 2020, Willie, who was close to his older brother and played football at Florida A&M just as Jonathan had, spoke out about police misconduct in light of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer. He said, "I know that police violence will never end because it [has] been going on forever."

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