Crime & Courts

CMPD Chief Putney to staff: Kerrick’s arrest was ‘necessary’

Police chief responds to Kerrick outcome

Charlotte police chief, Kerr Putney responds to the mistrial of Officer Randall Kerrick
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Charlotte police chief, Kerr Putney responds to the mistrial of Officer Randall Kerrick

The full text of an email Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney sent to his staff after a judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of Randall “Wes” Kerrick, the police officer who shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed black man, two years ago:

Today, the jury in the Randall Kerrick trial did not reach a unanimous verdict. I want to thank the countless professionals who responded to the scene of this incident on September 14, 2013, and have worked it tirelessly since that night. The time that has passed since that date has been challenging to CMPD and has cast an enormous spotlight on our agency, our policies, and our people. We have faced those challenges head on and will continue to do so.

This was a tragic event that changed the lives of many, both in the community and within our CMPD family. The decision to arrest and charge Randall Kerrick was not made unilaterally, nor did it occur in a vacuum. It was a painful but necessary decision reached by people both within the CMPD and in consultation with the District Attorney’s office. This decision was based on the facts of the case which led to probable cause, according to North Carolina state statute.

As police officers, we must abide by the law and be responsible for our actions. I believe that we as an organization did what was right for our agency and our community. The decision for any future criminal proceedings in this case rests with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. We will continue to support their efforts.

There are differing opinions surrounding the events of that night and our subsequent response. I understand and respect each of your opinions and your right to express them. Our commitment and service to each other and to the community will not end after one incident, nor should it.

There is work yet to be done within this community and our organization. I am proud of the resiliency and resolve of our police officers in what they do every day to the service of our community.

Over the coming days, I will be scheduling opportunities for us to talk about concerns or questions you may have, and to chart our path forward.

Kerr Putney

Chief of Police