First Drip (8/28/15): Kerrick case will not be retried


The North Carolina Attorney General's office announced this morning that it will not retry CMPD officer Randall Kerrick for voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. The original trial ended in a mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. Prosecutors said they do not believe another trial would result in anything different from the first one. 

The North Carolina legislature has given themselves more time to agree on a state budget, expanding the deadline for approval of a budget yet again until September 18. The budget was originally due by June 30. Teacher salaries and the decision whether thousands of teacher assistants will stay in CMS schools hang in the balance as legislators decide on a budget. The $2.1 million cost of expanding the legislative session three times for lawmakers to reach a decision could reportedly pay the yearly salary of 47 CMS teachers. 

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney spoke yesterday regarding rumors of low morale and complaints from officers in the department regarding leadership's handling of the Randall Kerrick case, mainly that he was arrested too quickly after the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. Putney said the Internal Affairs process will change in the department, allowing officers faced with charges to appeal to a deputy chief or take it to a department expert. He also said the department will look into making changes to its training procedures regarding how an officer responds to certain scenes, making it safer for them and residents. 

New documents unsealed by federal authorities show that an MS-13 gang member was in possession of CMPD documents listing the names of officers, witnesses and victims in a case against him when they arrested him in May, as part of a large round-up of MS-13 members. Carlos Almonte was apparently collecting the information, and was crossing out or circling names of those involved with the case. The documents also discussed details the CMPD had learned about secret meetings amongst MS-13 members. 

After losing a bid in 2013 to host the ESPN Summer X Games for four years, Charlotte is now eyeing the next opportunity to bring the games to the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2018. Austin was awarded a four-year contract from 2014 to 2017, beating out other top-bidders Charlotte, Detroit and Chicago. Officials from the city's tourism department as well as from the speedway say their partnership came too late in the game last time around, and they will be working together with more cohesion to land the internationally watched event in coming talks. 

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