Charlotte NAACP says authorities need to upgrade officer's charge in shooting case

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On the one week anniversary of a deadly officer-involved shooting, protestors gathered in Marshall Park in Uptown Charlotte to remember the victim.

The NAACP held a rally to speak out against the shooting that killed 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell.

Police said Ferrell was shot 10 times by officer Randall Kerrick; Ferrell was unarmed. The NAACP has asked authorities to upgrade the charges from voluntary manslaughter to murder.

President Kojo Nantambo also called for major changes to the Citizen's Review Board. It was created to review citizen complaints about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

Nantambo said he pushed for the group in the mid 90s, but Saturday he said the group needs more authority to conduct investigations.

"To look at the evidence, evaluate, question those who may be available for questioning and subpoena those who they think may have some observations."

This week a task force released recommendations calling for the board to do several things, including improving transparency. It also suggested giving the board investigatory power.

The group also recommended removing discretionary authority from the CMPD police chief.

Eyewitness News talked to the vice chairman of the board Saturday. He said the amount of complaints that come to the Citizen Review Board is a very small percentage of the total complaints made against officers.

He said efforts to improve transparency are important. However, he added that making the CRB investigate cases may not be necessary.

"Most members of the board would be unqualified to do investigations and at this point there's no need to do it.

It seems like there are certain groups who are looking for solutions to problems that don't exist," said Harvey Katowitz.

He also said he has found that CMPD takes citizen complaints about officers very seriously.

"Most officers on the police department do not want officers in the police department who abuse their authority, becuase it makes it bad for every other officer on patrol."

NAACP members and those in support of more authority for a CRB plan to meet at the municipal building in uptown Charlotte Monday at 11:45 a.m. to share their thoughts with current members.