Police Firepower Questioned Following Victim Shootings
Two tragic shootings are raising concerns today over whether police used excessive police firepower.
Two women bystanders were shot by accident when New York City police opened fire on a deranged man at the crossroads of the world, Times Square.
And a former college football star was shot dead by police in Charlotte, North Carolina as he sought help after getting into a car wreck.
The family of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell, who played for Florida A&M, is speaking out for the first time today about the shooting.
"I want my son to bury me. I don't want to bury him," said his mother, Georgia, at a press conference.
Jonathan's brother, Willie Ferrell, said, "Jonathan was never the type of person to harm anybody."
The tragedy happened after Jonathan crashed his car around 2:30 a.m. He climbed out of the shattered rear window of the wreck, then walked half-a-mile and knocked on the door of a home seeking help.
Police Chief Rodney Monroe said, "She immediately closed to door, hit her panic alarm called 911."
Monroe said three cops confronted Ferrell, who was unarmed outside the house.
"He just immediately takes off and runs toward a particular officer and that officer attempted to retreat but at the same time fired his weapon," said Monroe.
Ferrell was shot several times and died at the scene.
An attorney for the Ferrell family said at the press conference, "There were no commands to stop. There were no commands, 'Freeze.' There were no commands 'I'll shoot.' "
Police say officer Randall Kerrick "used excessive force" and "did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon." He was charged with manslaughter and is said to be devastated by Ferrells death.
Ferrell's mother said, "I forgive him. I truly forgive him."
The dramatic shooting in Times Square was caught on video by honeymooners Jeff and Lynn Melick. Jeff told INSIDE EDITION, "The police were acting with the best of intentions."
Glenn Broadnax, seen running and waving his arms in the middle of the street, wasn't hit.
Police were understandably wary of him. He is 6 feet 5 inches tall and 250 pounds. He was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.