Officials have released the dash-cam video (below) showing the moment that North Carolina police shot dead Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed black man, in September 2013.
In the video, Ferrell walks towards the officers before breaking into a run. Officers attempt to stop him, yelling, “Get on the ground!”
Seconds later, rounds are apparently fired out of the frame.
“Shots fired, shots fired,” an officer says. “Don’t move.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, Police Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick is currently on trial for voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Ferrell. A jury will decide whether Kerrick used deadly force or was justified in shooting the unarmed black man 12 times.
Kerrick, who has been on unpaid suspension since the incident, could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted. His defense claims he rightfully believed Ferrell posed a deadly threat, reports The Charlotte Observer.
Prosecutors say the officer panicked and shot Ferrell without identifying himself or giving any commands.
The 24-year-old victim had recently moved to the North Carolina town from Florida to be with his fiancee. The former A&M University scholarship football player crashed his fiancee’s car on his way home from a dinner with co-workers.
He then knocked on nearby resident Sarah McCartney’s door at about 2:30 a.m. Thinking it was her husband, she opened the door but slammed it shut and called 911 when she saw Ferrell, thinking he was trying to break in.
“I was terrified,” she said, adding that he seemed “angry and mad” when her home alarm went off.
Shorty after, Ferrell’s deadly encounter with the officers in the video took place.
“This case is not about race,” Kerrick’s defense attorney said. “It never was about race. This case was about choices — Jonathan Ferrell's bad choices.”
Prosecutors say the victim fought with his fiancee before drinking, smoking marijuana and driving.
Toxicology results showed that Ferrell had no marijuana in his system, and his blood alcohol content was 0.06, under the legal limit of 0.08.
Sources: The Charlotte Observer, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Screenshot via YouTube