Ferrell’s fiancee asks CMPD to release video of shooting

cwootson@charlotteobserver.comOctober 22, 2013 

The fiancee of the man killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer last month pushed Tuesday for the department to release video from the dashboard camera that captured the moments leading up to Jonathon Ferrell's shooting.

Caché Heidel made the request during a news conference Tuesday morning in Charlotte. She was accompanied by Chris Chestnut, the attorney representing Ferrell’s family.

Ferrell was shot to death by Officer Randall Kerrick on Sept. 14. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter following the shooting.

Chestnut said several times during the news conference that CMPD officials, including Chief Rodney Monroe, had promised to release the dashboard video.

“I specifically asked the chief for the tape, and he said yes,” Chestnut said.

There was no immediate response from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police or the City of Charlotte. But attorney Michael Greene, part of a legal team defending Kerrick in the criminal case, issued a statement saying he has “every confidence” that the state Attorney General’s office will comply with all legal obligations in releasing information.

Greene added, “Attorney Chestnut has absolutely no role in the criminal proceedings. This is yet another attempt by Attorney Chestnut to try the criminal case, in which he holds no part, in the media -- in hopes of advancing a potential civil lawsuit.”

Heidel said she participated in the news conference to defend her late fiance, who she said she had been dating for eight years.

Responding to initial reports that Ferrell tried to assault the officers, Heidel said, “With the news that they’re trying to say Jon assaulted the officer, you want the facts. And I know Jon wasn’t that type of person.”

Noting that CMPD released 911 tapes from the incident, Haidel said the “911 audio ... kind of criminalizes Jon. The video actually shows what happened.”

Ferrell had been in a wreck in the Reedy Creek area of northeast Mecklenburg. He knocked on a woman's door looking for help, but she thought he was a robber and called 911. Kerrick was one of three officers who responded to the scene.

Kerrick's attorneys have said the evidence will show that the shooting was justified.

Chestnut and other news organizations have filed public information requests asking the police department to release the video.

During the news conference, Chestnut said toxicology reports from Ferrell’s body won’t change the case and he alleged prosecutors might try using those results against Ferrell.

“They might be saying, ‘Jonathon Ferrell was inebriated. Where was Jonathon Ferrell that night?’ ”

“But the report is irrelevant, because the officer had no right to fire 12 times.”

Heidel said she and Ferrell moved to Charlotte a few days before she started a new job Aug. 1. Ferrell attended Johnson C. Smith University and was working part-time jobs.

“I don’t like doing these kinds of things,” she said of the news conference. “But I want people to know the kind of person Jon was. He was a real good guy.”

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson

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