Officer not Indicted in Jonathan Ferrell Fatal Shooting

Martin Luther King Jr. once said,”The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The irony of this quote is that yesterday — one day after celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Randall Kendrick for the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. In the event that this is your first time reading about this case, do yourself a favor and read what I wrote last September to play catch up. However, if you’re short on time, it’s important to know that Ferrell was shot 10 times by Kerrick while attempting to find help after crawling out of a badly mangled car after an accident. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter, but for now, as Charlotte’s WCNC reports, Kerrick has escaped a formal indictment in the shooting death of Ferrell.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Ferrell was black, and that Kerrick is white.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A partial grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Randall Kerrick for the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.


Kerrick was accused of voluntary manslaughter following the fatal shooting of former Florida A&M football player, Jonathan Ferrell, in September. Authorities have said Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 of which hit Ferrell.


The case went before a partial panel on Tuesday for the charge of voluntary manslaughter. The true bill of indictment was returned with a “no” when the grand jury members were asked if Officer Kerrick did, against state law, feloniously kill and slay Ferrell.


In a rare move, the jury attached a handwritten note asking the District Attorney to file a lesser charge against Kerrick.

Definitely watch this video:

So how do I feel? I’m disappointed, a bit confused, but I’m hopeful.

I’m disappointed because I was for sure that given the police dashboard camera video evidence, a grand jury would return with an indictment. It’s like the expert in the video above said, the bar is so low for a grand jury that they almost always return with an indictment. I am confused, however, because it isn’t clear whether they did review the video as evidence. Or, as WCNC also pointed out, the attorney’s for both sides aren’t aware of what evidence was reviewed. Furthermore, to add to my confusion, I’m wondering why there was only a partial grand jury. Hopefully this wasn’t part of the usual okie doke.

Jonathan Ferrell
Jonathan Ferrell

At any rate, there’s nothing that I or anyone can do today to change yesterday;s outcome. What we can hope for is that Attorney General Roy Cooper will be successful when he resubmits the case to a full grand jury soon, as he said he would. Until then, my hope is that the outcome of this case isn’t yet another example of just how little value the bodies of black folk hold in the eyes of the law.

I’m not sure how I feel about a lesser charge as suggested, but something is better than nothing, right?