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):
Witnesses have testified that a Charlotte police officer charged in a fatal shooting had previously been questioned by a supervisor about why he and another officer both drew Tasers - and failed to draw a pistol - during a traffic stop.
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who was with Officer Randall Kerrick during that 2012 traffic stop said Wednesday that after both men drew their Tasers, their supervisor told them that one of the two should have drawn their service weapon.
Officer C.T. Thompson Jr. testified Wednesday that during the stop, both he and Kerrick drew their Tasers on the man they stopped. Thompson said he deployed his Taser but Kerrick did not.
The supervisor, Lt. Eric Brady, followed Thompson on the witness stand and testified that after reviewing a report on the traffic stop, he asked why both men drew their Tasers. He said that, based on their training, one of the officers should have been covered by “lethal force.”
Kerrick, who is white, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, who was black.
Kerrick was one of three officers responding to the call and the only one who used his gun when Ferrell approached them. Another officer used his Taser.
Court adjourned 30 minutes early because another defense witness didn’t arrive as scheduled.
Disputes over witnesses and evidence marked the latest round of testimony in the trial of a white Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer accused in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man almost two years ago.
Defense attorneys for Officer Randall Kerrick asked the judge on Wednesday to take the jury to the scene of where Kerrick shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell in September 2013. They argued that none of the 26 witnesses appearing for prosecutors provided any type of context for the space and distances at the scene of the shooting. The judge rejected the motion.
The two sides also argued over police officers testifying for the defense as to what Kerrick and a second officer were told about procedures for using force following a unrelated traffic stop in 2012. They also sparred over a training video that the defense wanted to introduce.
Police Capt. Mike Campagna, who testified that Kerrick should have used non-lethal force in dealing with Ferrell, was asked to leave the courtroom after defense attorneys objected to his being able to listen to witnesses who were not identified as experts, as he was.
The jury spent much of the morning outside of the courtroom instead of hearing testimony.
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