CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The latest on the trial of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man seeking help after a crash in September 2013 (all times local):
Prosecutors are targeting the testimony of a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who told the jury that the man who was fatally shot by his fellow officer yelled, "Shoot me, shoot me!"
Officer Thornell Little is a defense witness who took the stand Thursday in the trial of suspended Officer Randall Kerrick. Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter. In the September 2013 incident, Little and Kerrick were responding to a report of breaking and entering. Little was the second officer to arrive on the scene.
Little testified that when he first saw Jonathan Ferrell, he was pacing and hitting his thighs with his hands. Little says Ferrell walked toward him and said, "Shoot me, shoot me!" after which the officer said he reached for his Taser, pointed it at Ferrell and fired. Little says it was after that that Ferrell ran toward Kerrick.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Adren Harris, Little was shown the dashcam video of the incident. In it, the red dots from Little's Taser lights are visible, but there's nothing on the audio portion to suggest that Ferrell asked the officer to shoot him.
Little says he gave Ferrell the command to stop, but that wasn't heard on the dashcam video, either.
More experts and police officers are expected to testify for the defense in the trial of a suspended North Carolina police officer accused in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick, who is white, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death in September 2013 of Jonathan Ferrell, who was black.
Testimony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It was cut 30 minutes short Wednesday after a defense witness wasn't available.
So far, the defense has attempted to show how conflicts have arisen in how Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trained. But a defense witness testified Wednesday that lethal force should be a last resort when a suspect doesn't have a weapon visible to officers.