CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Prosecutors say a white Charlotte police officer on trial for the on-duty killing of a black man looking for help after a car crash never gave the man any commands before shooting him and overreacted by firing 12 bullets.
But a defense attorney for 28-year-old officer Randall Kerrick said during opening statements Monday that Jonathan Ferrell made several bad choices, from drinking and smoking marijuana before the crash to screaming at a stranger while seeking help after the crash, then acting aggressively toward officers that night in September 2013.
Ferrell was a 24-year-old former Florida A&M football player. The city of Charlotte paid his family $2.25 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter and faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
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