Just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 14, Mr. Ferrell was dropping off a work colleague in Bradfield Farm, a subdivision with tennis courts and a swimming pool 17 miles east of downtown Charlotte. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/us/charlotte-police-officer-indicted-in-shooting.html?ref=us
On a particularly dark stretch of road, Mr. Ferrell drove down an embankment. The car was so damaged he had to kick out the rear window to free himself.
Unable to find his cellphone, he stumbled to the first house he found and knocked, according to the lawsuit and police reports. Inside, a white woman home alone with her infant daughter panicked and called 911. A black man, she said, was trying to break in.
Three officers arrived 11 minutes later. Mr. Ferrell had left the house and was on a street that led to the community pool. Rodney Monroe, chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, said Mr. Ferrell charged toward the officers and refused orders to stop. One officer fired a Taser, which missed its target.Just after 2 a.m. on Sept. 14, Mr. Ferrell was dropping off a work colleague in Bradfield Farm, a subdivision with tennis courts and a swimming pool 17 miles east of downtown Charlotte.
Officer Kerrick then fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Mr. Ferrell. Autopsy results included in the lawsuit show the bullets entered his body and traveled downward, which the family claims to show Mr. Ferrell was already on his knees or lying on the ground when he was shot. Officers then handcuffed him.
Toxicology reports showed Mr. Ferrell had caffeine, nicotine and an alcohol level that was well below the legal limit in his system.
The shooting, in which the officer was white and the victim was black, has raised debate in many circles about the place where race and excessive force intersect. But the Ferrell family thus far has declined to make the case part of a broader picture.
“We will wait on all that,” said his younger brother, Willie, who grew up so close to Mr. Ferrell that he left a prime scholarship at the University of Mississippi so he could play football with his older brother in Florida.
The family has, however, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, naming the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Officer Kerrick and Chief Monroe. Chris Chestnut, a family lawyer based in Atlanta, hopes the suit will force the department to provide more information about the shooting, including the police video, and prompt improvements in a department that has a long history of
citizen complaints about the use of excessive force.
Charlotte officers have killed at least five people in the past 13 months, according to the suit..