Jurors Watch More Video Of CMPD's Kerrick Interview
Jurors on Monday saw additional video from the interview investigators conducted with former CMPD officer Randall Kerrick after he fatally shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell two years ago. They also heard extensive testimony about Kerrick’s police training and the appropriate use of deadly force.
During the interview Kerrick gave CMPD investigators, he said he did not see anything in Ferrell’s hands when Ferrell approached him and another officer. He described Ferrell as having an aggressive posture as he ran toward him.
Kerrick said he felt a jerk on his gun and that, while backpedaling, he fired at Ferrell. Kerrick fired 12 times. Ten bullets hit Ferrell. He told investigators he did not think he had time to re-holster his gun and go hand-to-hand with Ferrell. He said he needed to fire his weapon.
“I felt like if I did not shoot him, he was acting like he going to cause me harm. I felt like he was going to take my firearm from me. He was close enough to do it,” Kerrick says in the interview.
Kerrick and two other officers were dispatched to Reedy Creek Road after Sarah McCartney, a homeowner, called 911, reporting a burglary. Ferrell knocked on McCartney’s door shortly after 2 a.m. on September 14, 2013, after being in a car accident nearby. Prosecutors say he was seeking help.
In a dash-cam video released last week, Ferrell is seen walking up a sidewalk and then toward officers. In earlier testimony, CMPD officer Adam Neal, also on the scene, said Ferrell started to run when Taser dots, aimed at him, appeared on his shirt.
Expert witness, Captain Mike Campagna, who developed CMPD’s Taser program, testified that use of deadly force is only appropriate when someone is a deadly threat to an officer, uses a weapon to escape or an officer has reason to believe if a person is not immediately arrested, they will cause serious bodily injury to someone else.
“But we wouldn’t be able to use deadly force simply because they are a felon, simply because they are running away,” Campagna testified.
Campagna did not say Kerrick was wrong to use deadly force against Ferrell, who ran in the direction of officers. Campagna’s testimony continues Tuesday.
The following was posted Monday at about 4:30 p.m.:
The interview investigators conducted with Randall Kerrick hours after he fatally shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell two years ago was played for jurors today.
Part of the taped interview was played for jurors on Friday.
In the tape, Kerrick told CMPD investigators that he did not remember if Ferrell, an unarmed African-American man, said anything to police as he approached them on that fatal night, but he said Ferrell had an aggressive posture and did not seem to be fazed by the Taser fired at him by another officer on the scene.
Kerrick and two other officers were dispatched to Reedy Creek Road after Sarah McCartney, a homeowner, called 911 to report a burglary. Ferrell had knocked on McCartney’s door shortly after 2 a.m. after being in a car accident nearby.
On the video, Kerrick told investigators he did not see anything in Ferrell’s hands but did feel a jerk on his gun. He said he was backpedaling when he initially fired at Ferrell but could not say how he ended up on the ground or at what point he was hit in the mouth. The video shows an investigator ask Kerrick why he felt the need to fire his weapon.
Kerrick’s response: “I felt if I didn’t shoot him, he was acting like he’d cause me harm and could take my firearm from me.”
Kerrick said he was trained to pull his weapon when another officer has a Taser aimed at a potential suspect, as happened the night of the shooting.
Kerrick’s uniform from the night of the shooting was entered as evidence. In the videotape, he told investigators that his baton came out during the struggle. He also said he never considered re-holstering his firearm and going hand-to-hand with Ferrell, as another officer on the scene testified earlier that he was prepared to do.