Psychology professor testifies about police officer at trial

AP News
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Posted: Aug 11, 2015 5:23 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The latest on the trial of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed black man seeking help after a crash in September 2013 (all times local):

5 p.m.

A Western Carolina University professor of psychology has opened the defense's case in the manslaughter trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick.

David McCord testified Tuesday on a series of psychological tests Kerrick took prior to becoming a police officer. McCord said Kerrick's aggregate score exceeded 70 percent of those who took the test.

Also, McCord said Kerrick's tests showed high competence, resilience and leadership potential.

During cross-examination, McCord acknowledged that all that the test administrators could do is make statistical predictions based on the results, and they had no idea how the applicant would fare.

McCord also said Kerrick's test results suggested he had a less than 2 percent chance that he would appear in the media for a bad reason.

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3 p.m.

The state has rested its case in the trial of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick.

After Capt. Mike Campagna stepped off the witness stand and the jury was excused Tuesday afternoon, defense attorney George Laughrun entered a motion to dismiss charges against Kerrick, arguing that the state presented nothing to suggest their client had committed voluntary manslaughter.

The judge rejected the motion, then called a recess. The defense is now expected to begin presenting its evidence.

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1 p.m.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police captain who reviewed the details of Officer Randall Kerrick's actions on the night he fatally shot an unarmed black man said the shooting was not consistent with department policy.

Capt. Mike Campagna made the statement during his second day of testimony Tuesday in Kerrick's voluntary manslaughter trial.

Campagna says he reviewed the dashcam video as well as Kerrick's statement and compared them with guidelines established by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He says non-deadly force should have been used to subdue Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot and killed after he wrecked his car and knocked on the door of a house apparently seeking help. The person in the house called police.

Kerrick, who is white, was one of three officers responding to the call and the only one who used his gun when Ferrell approached them. Investigators say he fired 12 shots. Ten hit Ferrell.

Defense attorneys began their cross-examination of Campagna before the lunch recess. They pointed out that an officer in a training video instructed students that if one officer draws his or her Taser, another officer should draw his or her weapon.

An officer fired a Taser at Ferrell before Kerrick fired his weapon.

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11:30 a.m.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police captain says officers in the department are permitted to use their weapon if they are confronted with what is termed as "aggravated active aggression."

Capt. Mike Campagna gave the testimony Tuesday in the trial of Officer Randall Kerrick, a white officer accused in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, a black man who was unarmed when he was killed nearly two years ago.

Campagna answered questions posed by Judge Richard C. Ervin after a defense attorney objected to the way a prosecutor worded their question. Campagna said aggravated active aggression is when a suspect engages in actions that create the threat of death or serious personal injury.

The captain said department policy prohibits officers from firing their weapon in instances of "active aggression," which is an action that doesn't create the threat of death or serious personal injury.

Kerrick, who has been suspended without pay, said Ferrell was charging toward him despite being shot, and that he feared Ferrell would take his gun.