CHARLOTTE – A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed an unarmed man who was running toward him after being involved in a car accident Saturday morning. The officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.
In response, Chris Brook, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, released the following statement:
“The fatal shooting of Jonathan Ferrell by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer is profoundly tragic and deeply disturbing. As Chief Monroe stated this weekend, it is clear that the officer in question used excessive force. This tragic incident is a powerful reminder of why the citizens of Charlotte must have access to effective tools that will provide civilian review of police conduct and promote accountability within the department. There are two actions that Charlotte officials should take, without delay, to increase civilian oversight and make officers more accountable to the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect: First, the city should take immediate steps to reform its ineffectual Citizens Review Board, which in 15 years has held only four hearings and never once ruled against the police department or for a citizen complainant. Second, officials should treat any footage taken by the cameras now being worn by some CMPD officers to record their interactions with citizens as a public record and make these recordings accessible to the public. The citizens of Charlotte must be allowed to review the actions of their police officers in meaningful ways that will provide oversight, hold appropriate parties accountable, and make everyone in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area safer and more secure.”