CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jury selection is beginning in the trial of a white Charlotte police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man who was looking for help.
Prosecutors say Randall Kerrick fatally shot 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player, on Sept. 14, 2013. Kerrick was arrested the day of the shooting. He was later indicted for voluntary manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of up to 11 years.
Prosecutors say the shooting was a case of excessive force, while defense attorneys say Kerrick acted in self-defense.
Kerrick's attorneys tried to get the case moved, saying extensive publicity makes it unlikely he can get a fair trial in Mecklenburg County. They say interest in the case has increased because of the national debate about race and aggressive police tactics.