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Dashcam Video of Cop Killing Black Man Seeking Help After Car Crash Shown at Trial

A Charlotte police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell in 2013.

by VICE News
Aug 6 2015, 4:05pm

Photo by Corwin Deckard

A panel of jurors in the voluntary manslaughter trial of a police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man in Charlotte, North Carolina, has viewed dashcam video of the incident in the courtroom, after a judge allowed video evidence to be introduced.

Randall Kerrick, who is white, stands accused of shooting and killing Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old black man who had committed no crime on the morning he was killed in September 2013. Ferrell had cops called on him after knocking on a woman's door in the middle of the night to presumably seek help after crashing his car.

In a 26-second clip of the patrol car dashcam video, Ferrell can be seen running toward the camera and then out of the camera's view, before 12 shots are heard. In the footage, an officer is yelling, "Get on the ground," and then, "Don't move," after the final shot is fired.

Ten of the 12 bullets Kerrick fired that morning hit Ferrell. The officer claims he feared for his life as the man ran toward him, but prosecutors say Kerrick violated protocol and fired his weapon without provocation.

Related: Trial Begins in the 2013 Police Killing of Black Man Who Sought Help After Car Accident in North Carolina

The incident reportedly began at about 2:30AM when Sarah McCartney called 911 to her home in Charlotte after Ferrell loudly knocked on her door. McCartney testified that Ferrell was yelling and pacing up and down the sidewalk. Thinking he was an intruder, she called the police.

Kerrick was one of three officers who responded to McCartney's call. Prosecutor Adren Harris told the court Monday that when one of the officers pointed a taser at Ferrell, he feared for his life and ran between police cars, where Kerrick was standing with gun drawn. Kerrick fired 12 bullets, and 10 of them struck Ferrell. Prosecutors said that as Ferrell approached, Kerrick had been backpedaling, but fell into a ditch. He fired four bullets at Ferrell, who then fell in front of him. When Ferrell moved, the prosecutor said Kerrick fired six more bullets into Ferrell. Harris said after Ferrell stopped moving, he was lying face down in his own blood in the ditch. 

Related: Activists Demand DoJ Investigation into Sandra Bland's Death

Officers did not try to roll him over, nor did they attempt to administer first aid. They did handcuff him, according to an account of Monday's proceedings in the Charlotte Observer.

The dashcam footage shown was taken from the cruiser of officer Adam Neal, who was the last responding officer before the shooting, the Associated Press reported. More dashcam video from Kerrick and the other officer's vehicles is expected to be shown at the trial.

In May, the city of Charlotte agreed to pay $2.25 million to Ferrell's family to settle a lawsuit the family brought.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo via Flickr

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