Charlotte, NC - The jury foreman in the voluntary manslaughter case involving CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick said there was heated discussion among jurors.
“We’re not going to need Sheriff’s Deputies or paramedics to break up the fights but we certainly had heated discussions that certainly got louder and more intense,” Bruce Raffe said.
Ferrell was charged with shooting Jonathan Ferrell -- an unarmed black man.
Raffe was one of eight jurors to vote not-guilty, while four others said guilty. A mistrial was ultimately declared.
Two-of-three black jurors, one-of-two Hispanic jurors and one-of-seven white jurors voted guilty, according to Raffe.
Race has been at the center of this case for some, Officer Kerrick being white and Jonathan Ferrell being black – but Raffe does not believe that factored into any of the juror’s decision making.
“I had the feeling we were able…to just concentrate on the two parties involved,” Raffe said. “I don’t think race was a factor for any one of them.”
During deliberations, he said one juror pushing for a guilty verdict, continued to write on a board “What did Jonathan Ferrell DO to deserve death?”
Raffe said dash cam footage, which appears to show Ferrell charging at Officer Kerrick, was the most important evidence for those voting not guilty.
“Dash cam video was really the most solid, visible evidence,” Raffe said. “It certainly helped me determine the actions that Jonathan took resulted in where Officer Kerrick thought his life was threatened.
“I truly feel for the Ferrell family,” Raffe added. “Looking in Jonathan’s brother’s eyes and his mother’s eyes—its not an easy thing. There’s an unspoken nervousness that goes on because you do hold the future of both parties in your hand…you can’t really let that play into your decision on where you find yourself…but to say that you don’t notice the emotions on their faces is not true at all.