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Posted: September 15, 2013

Civil rights group demands justice after officer shoots, kills car crash victim


IMAGES: 1 dead in officer-involved shooting in east Charlotte
Channel 9 is at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in East Charlotte. The shooting happened early this morning on the 7500 block of Reedy Park Road.

By Nate Stewart


A civil rights group is hoping to bring national attention to Charlotte, NC by demanding justice for 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot to death by a police officer Saturday.

The group told WSOC-TV it is organizing a press conference on Monday to address the shooting death of Ferrell.

"I've gotten calls from whites, blacks, Hispanic people are concerned," said John Barnett with the civil rights group True Healing Under God Initiative.

Friends told the station on Sunday that the former Florida A&M football player was a shy, soft-spoken young man.

WSOC-TV spoke to his former teammate Greg Boler by phone. He said he learned about his friend's death on social media.

"I didn't understand ... how did he get shot? He was never the type of individual that was into anything bad in any type of way. Just a good person, very humble," said Boler.

Boler and Ferrell were teammates at FAMU for two years. He described his friend as a standout player.

IMAGES: Jonathan Ferrell

"Just a great contributor, definitely highly-recruited," said Boler.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Ferrell wrecked his car at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

They said he managed to get out of that vehicle and walk about a half a mile away to a home, where he knocked on the door to try to get help.

"That resident dialed 911, and by the time police arrived they found Ferrell along this road," said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe.

According to police, Ferrell charged at them so one officer fired a Taser at him. Then, police said, Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, fired shots to stop him.

Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene.

VIDEO: 1 killed in officer involved shooting

CMPD investigators spent most of the day on Saturday searching for clues to what led to the shooting.

Police then arrested Kerrick on voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Ferrell.

Two other CMPD officers, Adam Neal and Thornell Little have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the shooting investigation. 

Liz Nunez lives in the Bradfield Farms Subdivision in northeast Charlotte, where the deadly encounter happened. She said she was stunned by all the police activity Saturday afternoon.

"There was a police car barricading the exit and I did not know what was going on. I was sad. I was really sad," said Nunez.

Barnett said he was disturbed to hear about the shooting death of Ferrell. Barnett has been in contact with Ferrell's family.

"We get a lot of calls unfortunately, but this one is very rare," he said, "I was sad. I was really sad."

On Monday, a press conference will not only address the shooting death of Ferrell but will also  demand an independent citizen review board of the police department.

It's something Barnett's group believes the city needs.

"So now we have this innocent person looking for help, running to the police like a child would run to his mother, and unfortunately he's not here with us," said Barnett.

Barnett said the Ferrell family is grieving and is asking for space. They are also working to get legal representation.

He's hopeful Monday’s press conference will shed more light on his death and begins a conversation with city leaders.

The group is also planning to have rallies to keep Ferrell's story alive.

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