"He was a friend to everyone. I don’t care who you were."

[Content Note: Police brutality; guns; violence; racism.]

The family of Jonathan Ferrell, the North Carolina man who was fatally shot ten times by a police officer after Ferrell crashed his car and sought help at a local residence, has filed a wrongful death suit against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Officer Randall Kerrick, Police Chief Rodney Monroe, the city of Charlotte, and the county.
The family of Jonathon Ferrell said autopsy results, showing a downward trajectory by most of the bullets, suggest that Ferrell was either on his knees or already on the ground when Officer Randall Kerrick fired most of his shots.

They say Ferrell never posed a threat to Kerrick or the two officers who showed up with him after a woman called 911.

"This was a murderer who was acting while on duty. Taxpayers were paying him, and he murdered someone," Christopher Chestnut, a lawyer for the family, told NBC News. "We all deserve answers. The department needs answers."

...It seeks monetary damages, but Chestnut said another goal was to use subpoena power to force police to turn over records that have been withheld from the family. That includes police dash-cam video of the Sept. 14 confrontation, which has not been made public.
There is always a lot of victim-blaming in cases like this. First Ferrell's family had to watch their loved one be blamed for his own death, with shit like "he should have complied with police instruction," even though there's every indication that he did. And now they will have to weather accusations that they are seeking to "get rich" from their loved one's murder, even though this lawsuit is the only potential avenue for full accountability for the crime.

And why should they not seek damages for their incredible loss, anyway? They deserve compensation as much as they deserve justice.
"If he met you only once, you would love him forever," said his mother, Georgia. "He was a friend to everyone. I don't care who you were. He didn't care about color, creed. He didn't care if you had a bad attitude — he'd love you anyway."

...[His family] said the pace of the [criminal] investigation has been agonizing.

Georgia Ferrell said she hopes the civil suit might push the criminal case forward. In an interview with NBC News on Monday, she clutched a Winnie the Pooh toy that she said her son treasured all his life, and she talked about what she missed.

"Just to hear his voice," she said. "When he would see me, he would embrace me so tight. So much love that I would have to say, 'Jon, let go.'"
The officer who killed Ferrell has been charged with voluntary manslaughter. In the meantime, he is on unpaid leave, but has not been fired.

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