Friday, August 28, 2015
KERRICK CASE EXPOSES A DIVIDE WITHIN CMPD
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney is working to repair a rift with officers angry over the department’s handling of Randall “Wes” Kerrick, the white officer accused of killing an unarmed black man.
Putney has spoken with officers since Judge Robert Ervin last week declared a mistrial. The jury deadlocked 8-4 to acquit the officer of voluntary manslaughter.
A Fraternal Order of Police leader, Kerrick’s attorney, a member of Charlotte City Council and others told the Observer that Putney is aiming to restore fractured relations between officers and commanders.
Some officials believe a majority of officers disagree with top administrators about the shooting and believe Kerrick took reasonable action to protect himself.
Those officers accuse then-Chief Rodney Monroe and command staff of a rush to judgment on Kerrick and misleading them about his quick arrest. Investigations into officer-involved shootings and other use of force can take weeks or months. But CMPD arrested Kerrick less than a day after he shot Jonathan Ferrell in a northeast Mecklenburg County neighborhood in 2013.
“Once you saw the evidence, you knew they (top CMPD officials) were not truthful,” said Hagler, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer who now heads law enforcement for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “This is going to be an interesting time for CMPD. Chief Putney has a difficult task. He has been dealt a tough hand by his predecessor.” The rest of the Observer article is here. Cedar's Take: The dashcam video that Chief Monroe claimed was so damning, and the attorney for the Ferrell family (Joey Chestnut), claimed to show Ferrell with "his hands up" pleading for his life, was neither. After weeks of testimony the evidence turned out to be largely inconclusive, except the video which showed a suspect charging towards off camera police officers, became the primary reason 8 of 12 jurors voted for acquittal. But trial exposed more than fractured relations between command and boots on the street. It uncovered a massive fraud engineered by Rodney Monroe that centered on advancing his own personal agenda no matter what the cost to training, officer safety, morale or the truth.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article32500278.html#storylink=cpy
Monday, August 24, 2015
Maybe the answer is that bad choices were made by all, poor officer training, poor communication from dispatch, poor interaction between officers. But the bottom line is Jonathan Ferrell, regardless of the outcome was the reason the police where put in this situation.
It is time to address not the guilt of the officer but of the system that brought everyone to this point, and it is clear that it was not about race rather how the police interact with irrational people.
The best way to proceed is to put this trial behind us and fix what is wrong and to do so you need to sign the petition now:
Sign the petition here
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Saturday, August 22, 2015
"We, defense counsel for Officer Randall Wesley Kerrick would first like to thank the jury for its thoughtful deliberations in this case. Officer Kerrick and his family have always respected the criminal justice system that they have worked for their entire lives. All of the jurors, regardless of how they voted, were cautious, considerate and deliberate. It is citizens such as these that make our justice system work. We thank you.
The shooting of Jonathon Ferrell, while tragic, was justified given the facts and circumstances presented to Officer Kerrick at the time of the shooting. From the onset of this case, we have had to fight several battles. First, was former Chief Rodney Monroe's rush to judgment in charging Officer Kerrick. In addition, his statements to the media that Jonathon Ferrell was "likely looking for help." At trial, the State did not present ANY evidence to support this theory. Second, was the media that adopted the Chief Monroe's narrative and continually showed Officer Kerrick's mugshot photo opposite photos of Ferrell in a tuxedo and/or football uniform. Third, was our own city officials who made the unbridled decision to stop funding for Officer Kerrick's civil defense despite him still being in their employ. These same city officials met behind closed doors and opted to spend $2.25 million tax payer dollars on a civil settlement before the resolution of the criminal case. It is unfortunate that these battles waged outside of the courtroom made our task to be zealous advocates for Wes Kerrick inside the courtroom even more daunting.
Florida civil Attorney Christopher Chestnut took the opportunity as the cameras rolled yesterday to once again distort the facts and evidence in this case. He indicated that the dash cam video was "misconstrued" and that if all of the evidence had been presented, Officer Kerrick would have been convicted. In hearing witness testimony and in viewing both the physical and scientific evidence, the majority of which was provided by the defense, it was clear to the vast majority of jurors that this was a case of self-defense. For nearly two years, Attorney Chestnut's conduct in this case has been unprofessional and his tactics have been deceitful. It is interesting to note that he did not spend one day in court listening to the testimony or viewing the evidence. His habitual misrepresentations of the truth in this matter are an offense to the legal profession.
It is now time for our city to heal. It is time to put down the protest signs, unball our fists and extend our hands to each other in fellowship. It is time to begin a dialogue of how we all can make ourselves better citizens and live together in harmony. Whether one believes that the shooting was justified or excessive force was used, one constant remains: justice is not a result; justice is a process. For nearly two years, Officer Kerrick has gone through this process. Officer Kerrick was charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, was arrested, was made to post a $50,000 secured bond, had a finding of a no true bill of indictment returned by the first grand jury, had his case presented again to a different grand jury, went through a civil lawsuit and finally, a criminal trial. He went through this process all while having to make a living for himself, his wife and their 15 month old son.
Officer Kerrick did not have to take the stand and testify in his trial. In fact, our constitution affords him that very right. However, he wanted the citizens of Charlotte to know why he made the decision that he did that fateful night. He wanted them to know it was not a decision he took lightly. He wanted the jurors to know that he was honoring the oath he took on October 7, 2011, when he swore to protect the citizens of our community.
We recognize that the Ferrell family has also had to go through a process. We do not begin to know the pain the family has been through these last two years. They have carried themselves with grace and dignity. The Kerrick family extends their sincerest thoughts and prayers to the Ferrell family. They deeply regret the loss of Jonathon.
It is our sincere hope that Attorney General Roy Cooper will not seek to retry Officer Randall Wesley Kerrick. The citizens of this community have spoken through a fair and impartial jury selected by both the prosecution and the defense. After hearing the entire story, the vast majority of jurors believed that Officer Kerrick is not guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter."
1. Keep those personal phone numbers off the air.
2. Keep those personal names off the air.
3. If you must use these, use conference or message, but nothing is 100% secure.
4. Don’t use first names in public (when in uniform). It is just another easy source of
5. Clean up your social media accounts.
6. If your wife’s social media account isn’t up to par, #5 doesn’t matter. Same goes for mom, dad, sister, friends, etc.
7. Make sure your golfing club, church, etc. doesn’t have your name listed online as an usher, player, volunteer etc. with your name, address and phone number.
8. Don’t call in off duty gigs on the open channel. Do you really want someone to have 3-5 hours to get in position and figure out how to ambush you?
9. Change up your zone checks. I know on any given night I can take a right off Eastway onto Central an there will be an officer in that church parking lot.
10. If you want to take a personal break, smoke, use your phone, or chat with someone, have reasonable cover and concealment. If a clear line of sight to you is 50 yards or more in an urban area, you are a rifleman’s dream.
11. Remember, a good choke point for a checkpoint, traffic stop, or natural terminus of a chase (ie, a dead end) is also a great ambush point. Don’t walk into one blind.
Friday, August 21, 2015
OK, at least he's also a Cubs fan.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
For months Cedar Posts has been telling WBTV yappers and talking heads like Sharon Smith that they should be asking hard questions of Rodney Monroe. Instead they have Brigetta Mack interview Chief Monroe in what turns out to be a "love fest". Apparently now that Chief Monroe is gone some are asking the boots on the street.
From the moment Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick was charged in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, some police officers expressed concerns that the department moved too quickly to file criminal charges.
Now, 23 months after the shooting - and with the jury deliberating - some officers say morale is low and distrust is high. WBTV talked with some officers who say there's a strong feeling that the department sacrificed an officer when they charged Kerrick, and some are angry with the command staff for taking action before all the facts were known.
"That can be said of anything that's going on - whether it's an internal investigation or criminal investigation - you're always going to have a group of officers that are going to question command, always going to question their supervisors," said Todd Walther of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). "You're going to have some that are going to question it. Some are still positive that we have the right people in the right places."
CMPD declined WBTV's request for an interview.
Some officers, who don't want to be identified because they're afraid supervisors will retaliate, believe there was an abuse of authority and a rush to judgment when Kerrick was charged hours after the shooting in 2013. Some say they now don't trust their supervisors.
Walther, of the FOP, said, "We know that is a strong community and whether it's divided by a few outsiders, we'll still come together."
During the trial, several officers took the stand. Some testified for the defense, others for the state.
The jury will resume deliberations Wednesday morning. Officers are watching closely.
"I can speak for the FOP, our membership," Walther said. "Everybody is on pins and needles - anxious. We're still confident. We still are here to support the Kerrick family and Wes Kerrick."
On the streets, some officers are wondering whether they have the support of the command staff.
They're concerned that if they do their jobs and residents complain - will the department support them or abandon them?
Police sources say officers are hoping Chief Kerr Putney will address their concerns. But they say they're watching to see how the command staff reacts if there's a verdict that leads to backlash and protests.