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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Randall Kerrick says he didn’t remember how many times he fired his service weapon at an unarmed black man nearly two years ago. But the white police officer was clear in his testimony to a jury about why he considered shooting the man at all.

“He was going to attack me. He was going to assault me. He was going to take my gun from me,” said the emotional Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer as he took the witness stand Thursday in his voluntary manslaughter trial.

Kerrick is expected to continue his testimony when the trial resumes Friday.

With his voice quavering, Kerrick began his testimony by saying his career goal was to be a police officer. He appeared to fight back tears when he referred to his wife, who was in the audience, and their child.

Kerrick re-created the events of Sept. 14, 2013, at one point yelling “Stop!” and “Get on the ground!” to a nearly packed courtroom as he repeated the warnings he said he gave to former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell.

As a Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputy sat to the left of the witness box as a security measure, Kerrick told the jury that he thought his gun wasn’t working because Ferrell kept coming at him.

“I thought I was going to die because I could do nothing that would stop him,” Kerrick said. He said even when he freed himself after Ferrell fell on his lower legs, he kept his gun trained on him because Ferrell was still moving.

Kerrick said he thought he fired four to six times, but said he now knows it was 12 times. Authorities say he hit Ferrell 10 times. Kerrick was the only officer who fired his gun.

Some of the testimony prior to Kerrick’s appearance focused on training and whether his use of deadly force was necessary. Some witnesses testified that Kerrick told them he was afraid for his life and that he thought Ferrell was going to try to take his gun.

Ferrell’s death happened a little less than a year before an unarmed black man in New York and an unarmed 18-year-old black male in Ferguson, Missouri, died after separate violent encounters with police — cases that shined a national spotlight on how police departments treat minorities and sparked calls for widespread reforms. Protests and rioting followed Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and a grand jury’s refusal to indict the officer. The unrest resumed this week as protesters marked the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death.

Protests also followed the deaths of two unarmed black men after encounters with police earlier this year in Baltimore and South Carolina. Officers have been charged in both of those cases. Kerrick’s trial, while packing the courthouse, has drawn little outside attention, perhaps because the officer was arrested and charged about 12 hours after the shooting.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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20 thoughts on “White Officer Tells His Story in Black Man’s Shooting Death

  1. jerry Washington on said:

    my biggest concern is that this police office and many others will use that understanding but that explanation the way of saying I was afraid I was afraid I was afraid so the question is if you hadn afraid then you shouldn’t be on the police force I thing if your dad afraid then you should be doing something else cuz you say you said the man four times the end of June 10 to 12 time so now so afraid that you don’t even remember that is fear of the worst kind that could have been my son that could have been me oh my god can you imagine can you imagine what that young man felt what was going on why don’t we hear from the top cuz this kills me no pun intended when you think about how many young men facing the police maybe in fact I’m willingly might be seeing that last thing

  2. Honestly on said:

    The cave n!@@er kerrick will walk. He’s being judged by 12 cave n!@@ers for killing a man of Nubian heritage. These neanderthal apes should have never been let out of the caves of Europe.

  3. reflections on said:

    The don’t care if citizens make it home only that they do. The police are train that only there lives matter. They eagerly destroy the lives of african americans or the mentally ill. Lying under oath, planting evidence, brutal assault and murder. All in a days work. The penalty for murder if you are a cop is indefinite pay vacations with full benefits.

  4. THE CONFEDERATE FLAG WASN’T SOME FAINT IDEA THEY GOT THAT IDEA FROM THE BIBLE..AND YES MANY ARE CONFEDERATE AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE BECAUSE WE ARE ISRAEL..OUR HOLOCAUST WAS MORE SEVERE BUT YOU & WHITE JEWS THAT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE CONFEDERATE AGAINST US TO KEEP US IN THE DARK ABOUT OUR TRUE HERITAGE THE HERITAGE YOU’VE BEEN ADOPTED INTO AS CHRISTIANS. YOU PEOPLE GAVE US NAMES THAT WASN’T OURS LIKE NEGRO, BLACK AFRICAN OF WHICH WE ARE NOT..WE ARE ISRAEL AS ARE NATIVE INDIANS & SOUTH AMERICANS WERE SCATTERED FROM OUR NATIVITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST. HUMANS & EDEN IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST HOW DID WE ALL GET TO THE WEST? GOD SCATTERED US

  5. When you tell the truth you can always remember it, when you lie you will surely forget. If this cop was so afraid why did he become a police officer in the first place. Who did he think he’d be dealing with out here in the world, all kinds of people. Like my mom always said, “those tears don’t move me”.

    • specialt757 on said:

      “those tears don’t move me”. Yeah that’s what his lawyer told him to do, show real emotion. Facing prison time can bring you to tears, I pretty sure.

    • Not true. Try remembering every exact little detail of an intense, stressful, rapidly changing situation X amount of years down the line. In stressful situations, your body goes thru a lot of involuntary changes because you’re kicking into survival mode. Please do some research. Educate yourself. Still, he does appear to be very cowardly. Thinking someone is going to disarm you is very different than someone actually grabbing your firearm. #sticktothefacts#

  6. LoisJGalgano on said:

    …/my classmate’s half-sister makes $63 /hr on the internet —She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her pay check was $20175 just working on the internet for a few hours. Get More Information>>> Read More

  7. specialt757 on said:

    Fired 12 shots…the only officer who fired his gun. Sooooo no other officer feared for their lives? There you have it “shoot first…” Still alive but on trial for murder, now you’re the criminal.

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