Mother of slain N. Carolina man still wants justice at US officer’s mistrial
Georgia Ferrell says she’s still seeking justice after a jury couldn’t unanimously decide the fate of a white police officer in the U.S. state of North Carolina accused in the 2013 shooting death of her son, an unarmed black motorist.
“I’ve got to keep fighting,” Ferrell said outside a courthouse late Friday afternoon after she heard a judge declare a mistrial in the voluntary manslaughter case of CharlotteMecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick. “We must get justice.”
A racially diverse jury of eight women and four men deliberated over four days. All told, it took four votes on the charge of voluntary manslaughter against Kerrick in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player.
Judge Robert C. Ervin, the grandson of former North Carolina Senator Sam Ervin, twice asked the jury if continuing their talks would help overcome the impasse.
“Honestly, we have exhausted every possibility,” the foreman said after Ervin asked a second time Friday. Hours earlier, the foreman had said the jury was making progress in resolving the 8-4 deadlock.
Defense attorney George Laugh- run called for the mistrial, saying jurors were at an impasse after deliberating for a total of 19 hours. Prosecutors, who had pressed Ervin to urge the jury to continue deliberations, now must decide if they want to try Kerrick a second time.
Prosecutor Adren Harris issued a statement saying the state attorney general’s office will review the trial transcript and other information and fully consider the options be- fore making any decisions regarding the case.
Laughrun had no comment after the mistrial was declared and jurors walked past reporters without taking questions. Kerrick also left the courtroom without comment.
The Ferrell family has already settled a lawsuit with the city of Charlotte, receiving US$2.25 million. Kerrick is suspended from the force without pay.
Jonathan Ferrell’s brother Willie Ferrell, left, and his mother, Georgia Ferrell, answer reporters’ questions alongside defense attorney Chris Chestnut, right, after a mistrial was declared in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick’s trial, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Friday, Aug. 21.