Former Florida A&M defensive back Jonathan Ferrell was only looking for help when he was shot by the police in North Carolina over the weekend. The reports indicate that Ferrell had been in a car accident that was so bad, he had to crawl out of the back window just to get out of the vehicle.
Then Ferrell reportedly walked half a mile to find help and knocked on the first door in his sight. The lady who answered the door, according to reports, slammed the door shut when she saw it was Ferrell and not her husband. Then she dialed 911, to which police responded to a breaking and entering call.
That's odd enough, considering there's nothing that indicates Ferrell did anything aside from knocking on the door, possibly very loudly.
When Ferrell saw the police, he ran toward them. Probably not the best idea, but again, he'd been in a terrible accident and needed help. The cops responded by trying to taser him. When that didn't work, one of the cops shot Ferrell several times and the former FAMU safety died at the scene.
Police initially called officer Randall Kerrick's encounter "appropriate and lawful" but after further review, the shooting was ruled excessive and Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter.
There really aren't enough details to know if race played a role in this, but it definitely looks like some folks responded out of fear to an unknown black man who was reaching out to them. Perhaps there's a conversation to have about this further down the road. But for now, condolences to Ferrell's family and all of those who cared about him.