The Grand Jury’s decision in Ferguson, MO not to indict former police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown sparked outrage and protests in Ferguson and around the country. Protests intensified a couple of weeks later when a Staten Island Grand Jury refused to indict NYPD Officer, Daniel Pantaleo for the choking death of Eric Garner. And while there’s a nationwide clarion call for Special Prosecutors to handle high profile cases involving police, there’s at least one Grand Jury that appears to have gotten it right.
When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick shot and killed unarmed former A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell in September of 2013, concerns were raised when the first Grand Jury didn’t indict Kerrick. After protests and legal maneuvering, a 2nd Grand Jury was impaneled and an indictment of Officer Kerrick followed.
Fast forward a year later amidst nationwide protests over two Grand Juries decisions not to indict police for the killings of unarmed African-Americans, officer Randall Kerrick made his first appearance in court this week for the 2013 shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. Kerrick’s trial is set for 2015. A group of protestors held a prayer vigil and demonstration outside the Charlotte Court House to send a clear and unequivocal message – they want Justice. ‘COMMUNITY VOICES’ host, Ron Holland talked with Civil Rights Activist John Barnett, founder of True Healing Under God (T.H.U.G) Ministries about the demonstration and spate of police killings of unarmed African- Americans. Also, Ron delves into efforts in the Illinois legislature to make it a Class 3 Felony to video record police during interactions with the public.