CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Randall Kerrick’s trial will not be moved from Mecklenburg County despite his claim that he will not get a fair trial due to the heavy news coverage surrounding his arrest.
Kerrick, a former police officer, is accused of killing an unarmed man while on duty on September 14, 2013. The victim, an African-American former Florida A&M football player, was only 24 when he was shot and killed by Kerrick.
Attorneys representing Kerrick say that the increased tensions between police and citizens across the nation have renewed interest in Kerrick’s case. Kerrick’s incident is similar to those in Baltimore, North Charleston, Ferguson, and Cleveland.
According to prosecutors, Ferrell was unarmed and looking for help. Kerrick’s lawyers disagree and claim to have proof that this was not the case. Still, they say, they will find it difficult to seat a jury of impartial people due to increased media coverage and local anger over police use of force in general.
Prosecutors at the Attorney General’s Office question where the case can be moved if the goal is to find an impartial jury. The rage people feel against the police is not local, but nationwide.
On September 14, 2013, officers, including Kerrick, responded to the scene of a suspected home invasion. They found Ferrell to be banging on the door of a house, asking for help after crashing his car. The home owner felt as though someone was trying to gain entry.
Kerrick’s attorneys claim that Ferrell was high on marijuana and had been consuming alcohol prior to the crash. He then approached an officer, shouting, “Shoot me. Shoot me.” One officer fired his Taser at Ferrell, and Kerrick fired 12 shots from his service weapon, striking Ferrell 10 times.
Kerrick will soon be on trial in Mecklenburg County, facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter.