Kerrick (left) shot unarmed Jonathan Ferrell multiple times

Kerrick (left) shot unarmed Jonathan Ferrell multiple times

A police officer in the US has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after shooting dead an unarmed man who was asking for help.

Jonathan Ferrell, a former student at R&M University had been involved in a road crash, which was so serious that he had to climb out of his car’s back window to escape.

The 24-year-old then walked around half a mile to the nearest home, where he banged on the door’s window loudly to attract attention.

The woman subsequently called the police because she thought he was an intruder.

Meanwhile, Ferrell sat down a few metres from the house and waited for the police to arrive. When they did, he ran towards them calling for help. They immediately tasered him and then when he recovered and ran towards them again calling for help, officer Randall Kerrick then proceeded to spray him with bullets.

At first the police department said this was an appropriate and proportionate response, but after hearing the report from the officers at the scene and participant in the action, the chief of police retracted the initial statement. They then stated that in light of the further evidence, the police response was determined to be inappropriate and as such, there was grounds to charge Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter.

Civil rights leaders in the US are calling for the crime scene video to be made public. At a press conference on Monday, Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, said: “Any day in this country, an African-American man can be killed for no reason by the people who are supposed to be protecting him. That’s not an anomaly in this country. They’re never given the benefit of the doubt, and that has to change.”



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