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WFAE's coverage of the case of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Jonathan Ferrell. The court case ended in a mistrial.

Jury Sees Video Of Kerrick's Police Interview After Shooting

In the trial of Randall Kerrick Friday, jurors heard the former CMPD officer recount his version of the events that led to the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. But Kerrick was not called on to testify. Prosecutors in the voluntary manslaughter case showed part of a video of a police interview with Kerrick. The video was recorded a few hours after he shot Ferrell ten times. Kerrick and two other officers were responding to a 911 call about a break-in. Kerrick is white and Ferrell was black and unarmed.

Kerrick told police he drew his gun as he came up on another officer pointing a Taser at Ferrell. He says Ferrell was moving toward that officer, who then fired the Taser, but Kerrick says Ferrell was not affected. That’s when Kerrick says he yelled for Ferrell to stop. He says Ferrell then started advancing on him.

Kerrick tells the officers, "he [Ferrell] kept coming toward me, I was yelling at him 'stop, don’t move..stop where you’re at.' I was actually backing up in the process; I still had my gun drawn. But he was completely focused on me." 

Kerrick is visibly shaken and, at times, emotional in the video as officers ask him to lay out the sequence of events as he remembers them. He describes Ferrell’s eyes as “crazy looking”. Kerrick says he was scared Ferrell would grab his gun, which he refers to here as his ‘duty weapon’:

"When he got, when he got within, say, 10 feet of me, I fired my duty weapon," Kerrick says in the video. "It did not phase him; he kept coming towards me. I fired again ...(long pause)... In the process, I was still back-pedaling."

Kerrick says he then found himself on the ground; he isn’t sure how he got there. Then, he says, Ferrell tried to, in his words, climb up his pants leg. He says he fired more shots, before another officer came up and handcuffed Ferrell.

Earlier in the week, jurors saw a dash cam recording from another officer’s car, but much of the encounter happened out of the frame. You hear Kerrick yell Get on the Ground three times.  Then three seconds after he begins yelling…gunshots. Friday, we learned there is no such recording from Kerrick’s car.  He told officers he turned off his dash cam just before he arrived at the scene. It’s not clear why he did that. 

The video of the police interview is about an hour and 10 minutes long. The judge stopped it yesterday about halfway through, just as officers were asking Kerrick to show them how his struggle with Ferrell played out. Monday morning the prosecution will play the second half of that video. Then Kerrick's defense attorneys will have a chance to cross-examine the officer who conducted the interview. 

WFAE's Duncan McFadyen was at the courthouse Friday. He speaks to WFAE's Sarah Delia about the video of Kerrick's police interview.

Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.