CNN reports that:
Prosecutors in North Carolina will not seek a retrial of a police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed man, according to a letter from the state attorney general’s office.
Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was charged with voluntary manslaughter after he shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a college student and football player, in 2013.
A judge last week declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a verdict.
Prosecutors made their decision after speaking with jurors from the original trial. They said they will submit paperwork for dismissal of the charge.
“In consideration of the jurors’ comments, the evidence available to the State, and our background in criminal trials, it is our prosecutors’ unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result,” said the state attorney general’s letter to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said at a new conference on Friday that he still stands by the decision to bring the case to trial.
“The loss of Jonathan Ferrell’s life is a tragedy — it should not have happened,” Cooper said. “Our prosecutors have talked with Jonathan’s mother about this decision. It was the right thing to bring this case before a jury and seek a conviction, but now we need to listen to what the jury said.”
This is a disgrace. It is an act of cowardice. Instead of having the fortitude to retry the case, the prosecution caved under pressure like some weak chumps. The prosecution should have presented the case to a new jury and let the jury decide. In lieu of that, Attorney General Roy Cooper essentially decided the case for them.
Despite all of the pleasantries and phony expressions of concern, his message is loud and clear: Jonathan Ferrell’s life does not matter. Black lives do not matter. They never have, and probably, never will. Now, another black man is dead, and another white killer cop walks free. In fact, Randall Kerrick will probably be rewarded for killing Jonathan Ferrell. Kerrick will probably receive thousands of dollars for interviews.
Unfortunately, we are to blame for this outcome as well. We allowed ourselves to be pacified by a grand jury indictment and a trial. We lost focus and fell asleep at our post. For a second, we were deluded. We actually thought that justice was in sight. We stopped protesting and blogging about this case.
With virtually no pressure from the public, it was easy for the prosecutor to decide not the pursue the case. The prosecutor made his announcement on a Friday for a reason. Sadly, many of our people are more concerned about going to the club than they are about pursuing justice. By Monday, it will be business as usual and no one will give a damn about our brother Jonathan Ferrell.
[Originally posted at New Possibilities]