Mistrial In NC Officer Shooting; Jurors Favored Acquittal, 8-4


Jurors in the Charlotte trial of Randall “Wes” Kerrick, the white police officer accused of killing an unarmed black man, agreed to keep race out of their decision-making, Bruce Raffe, the foreman, told the Charlotte Observer after a mistrial was declared. “I felt like we could keep race as far from this as possible, and we all said this wasn't about race,” he said. Of the eight jurors who favored acquitting Kerrick in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, one was black, one Hispanic and six white, Raffe said. Of the four favoring conviction, two were black, one Hispanic and one white.

The most important piece of evidence to Raffe was the dashcam video, which showed Ferrell walking toward the police that night in September 2013, then rapidly advancing toward Kerrick when a Taser is aimed at him. “It resonated with everyone,” Raffe said. “We saw it 15 times on the first day. We also took it back into deliberations. We felt like it was an aggressive move towards the police officer. To me, he wasn't doing anything other than making an aggressive assault.” Raffe said he and some other jurors felt the dashcam video “was the only truly solid evidence.”

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