On Monday, a grand jury indicted Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Randall Kerrick on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jonathan Ferrell, reports the N.Y. Times.
It was the second time a grand jury had heard the case. The first panel, which convened a week ago, did not indict the officer, but suggested instead that prosecutors come back with a lesser charge. Community outrage was strong. Roy Cooper, the attorney general and a likely Democratic candidate for governor, decided to present the case again, this time with four witnesses instead of two, and to a full panel of 18 jurors instead of 14.
The family has, however, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, naming the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Officer Kerrick and Chief Monroe. Chris Chestnut, a family lawyer based in Atlanta, hopes the suit will force the department to provide more information about the shooting, including the police video, and prompt improvements in a department that has a long history of citizen complaints about the use of excessive force.