Charlotte, NC, police officer faces manslaughter charge in death of unarmed man


The Washington Post

He had sought help at a nearby house, according to a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. A woman answered the door and, when she didn’t recognize the man, called 911.

Officers responding to the breaking and entering call found Ferrell nearby. Ferrell ran toward the officers, who tried to stop him with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.

A police statement Saturday said the investigation showed the shooting was excessive and “Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”

FAMU Interim Athletic Director Michael Smith said Ferrell played the safety position for the school’s football team during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

In describing the accident, Police Chief Rodney Monroe has said Ferrell was driving a vehicle that crashed into trees off a northeast Charlotte road early Saturday, and the wreck was so severe he would have had to climb out of the back window to escape. Monroe said he did not know what caused the crash and did not say whether Ferrell suffered injuries.

Ferrell apparently walked about a half-mile to the nearest house and was “banging on the door viciously” to attract attention, Monroe said. Thinking it was her husband coming home late from work, the woman who lives there opened the door. When she saw Ferrell, she shut it and called police about 2:30 a.m., Monroe said.

Monroe said he didn’t think the unarmed Ferrell made threats or tried to rob the woman.

Sanford police chief steps aside over Martin slaying

The Raw Story

The police chief of Sanford, Florida on Thursday said that he would temporarily step aside because he had become a distraction in the case of an unarmed teen that was killed by a neighborhood watch leader.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Police Chief Bill Lee insisted that he and his department had done nothing wrong by not arresting George Zimmerman for gunning down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“While I stand by the Sanford Police Department, its personnel and the investigation that was conducted in regards to the Trayvon Martin case, it is apparent that my involvement in the matter is overshadowing the process,” he explained. “Therefore, I have come to the decision that I must temporarily remove myself from the position as police chief of the city of Sanford.”

“I do this in hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to this city, which has been in turmoil for several weeks.”

Lee’s short statement was met with applause from some of those gathered to hear him speak.

City Manager Norton Bonaparte said that the search for an interim police chief would begin immediately. The city has been under intense pressure from civil rights groups who say that Lee refused to fully investigate Martin’s death.

“What the city wants more than anything else for the Trayvon Martin family is justice,” Bonaparte told reporters. “We are looking for a complete, thorough review and that justice will prevail.”

The city manager declined to say exactly how long Lee’s “temporary” departure would be.

See video here…

Trayvon Martin case: Sanford commission votes ‘no confidence’ in police chief

This case is too heartbreaking for words but the sadder part is that every Black parent of male children (I had four) has to constantly set rules down about not “upsetting” the police in any way.

Granted a police officer did not gun down young Martin, but in my opinion, he was gunned down because he was “walking while Black”.

Orlando Sentinel

Sanford city commissioners just gave a vote of no confidence in police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has been publicly lambasted for his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The vote was 3-2, with Commissioners Randy Jones and Patty Mahany voting against.

Commissioner Mark McCarty made a motion to fire the chief, who has been on the job just 10 months. Lee was hired as chief in May 2011 in the wake of tumult surrounding the beating of a homeless black man by the son of a Sanford lieutenant.

The commission, discussing the topic before a packed house, is taking public comment now.

Commissioners can’t fire Lee because he reports to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. But their vote tonight sent a strong signal.

Earlier this evening, commissioners decided to move Monday’s City Commission meeting to the Sanford Civic Center to accommodate the hundreds of people expected to attend.

The civic center, 401 E. Seminole Blvd., holds about 600 people, and the staff plans to put speakers in an adjacent park for overflow crowds. The entire meeting will be devoted to the shooting case in a “town hall” style.

Members of Trayvon’s family are expected to speak during the 5 p.m. forum.

Trayvon was killed Feb. 26 by crime-watch volunteer George Zimmerman as he walked through a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman has not been arrested because he claims self-defense, according to police.

But community and civic leaders say the Sanford Police Department has conducted a shoddy investigation and are demanding Zimmerman’s arrest.


Related articles on the Orlando Sentinel:

Sanford city commissioners just gave a vote of no confidence in police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who has been publicly lambasted for his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

Damning Video Tape that Shows That the UC Davis Police Chief Lied About Pepper Spraying

The Democratic Underground

In an initial attempt to justify the horrific and sadistically carried out pepper spraying of seated, non-violent protesters at the University of California Davis, the chief of the university of police claimed that the students had trapped the cops:” “Officers were forced to use pepper spray when students surrounded them”, said UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. “There was no way out of the circle”.

But quickly available videos showed that Police Chief Annette Spicuzza either authorized the use of massive amounts of toxic and torturous chemicals on nonviolent, peaceful advocates based on faulty information or she lied. Since the videos show how egregiously incorrect Police Chief Spicuzza was, one can readily speculate the latter.

Indeed, in this particular video — one of many — the police appear to surround the group of passively sitting students. In fact, the main police officer who pepper sprayed the students as though he were cleaning his car stepped over them in order to ensure he could inflict the most pain by dousing them in their faces. Meanwhile other officers mingled around on both sides of the victims of the police chemical attack.

Perhaps the truth telling of the modern instant Internet video posting age is the reason that Police Chief Spicuzza has been “temporarily” put on paid leave.

Olbermann: Oakland mayor must fire police chief or resign

The Raw Story

Keith Olbermann on his show Wednesday night called on Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to fire the city’s acting police chief after officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse “Occupy Oakland” protesters.

Police in Oakland repeatedly clashed with demonstrators Tuesday. Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers cleared the protesters out of Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The “Occupy Oakland” protesters regrouped later that night and marched towards City Hall in an effort to reclaim the site.

Police claimed that some protesters threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at them, which resulted in the declaration of an unlawful assembly and the order to disperse. When the protesters refused to leave, police fired tear gas into the crowd. A Marine veteran was apparently struck in the head with a tear gas canister and is in critical condition.

Olbermann compared Mayor Quan to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who infamously cracked down hard on a protest during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

“There were dead men and women on the streets of this country, and no one wants to see that again,” he said.

“The mayor of any city is not out on the front lines with the cops, and not everything they do can be lain a the mayor’s feet,” Olbermann continued.

“But if one night a group of peaceable protesters exercising the rights given to them in the Constitution — and not rights made up by the cops, for the cops, like lawful command and imminent threat — if they are attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets, and the mayor’s only comments are to commend the police chief for a ‘generally peaceful resolution to the situation’ and after that claim ‘democracy is messy’ after the unprovoked actions of those police horrify a nation, she is endorsing and assuming for herself the responsibility for whatever havoc the out of control police officers have wrought.”

“Mayor Quan is left with two choices, she can dismiss the acting police chief… or she must resign,” he concluded.

Watch video, via, below:

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Mayor of New Mexico Border Town Indicted for Gun Smuggling


Running easily purchased American guns to Mexican gangs is all the rage these days in the Great American Southwest, so you know it couldn’t be long until a border town’s mayor, sheriff, and city council got in on the fun.

Last week the feds arrested 11 people in New Mexico and charged them with trafficking hundreds of guns to Mexican drug gangs. Among them were Eddie Espinoza, the mayor of Columbus, N.M.; Angelo Vega, the town’s police chief; and Blas Gutierrez, who sits on Columbus’ village council. The indictment accuses Espinoza of acting as a straw purchaser for 22 pistols destined for Mexico and of renting an apartment in El Paso, Texas, to store weapons. Vega, the police chief, is accused of buying bullet-proof vests to smuggle to the cartels. All together, they stand accused of buying more than 200 guns in 14 months.

Columbus is directly across the border from Palomas, Mexico, and is described by the AP as suffering for years from “allegations of rampant drug and human smuggling, an economy awash in narcotics cash from Mexico, and a revolving-door department that had been led by six police chiefs in three years.” Sounds more like Old Mexico, amiright?