CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For years, the city has covered the legal costs for any officer sued for their actions while working.
SPECIAL SECTION: CMPD Officer Charged
Now, the city said it will no longer do that for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Randall Kerrick, citing a policy nearly four decades old.
Kerrick faces criminal charges in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell and there is also a civil lawsuit from Ferrell's family.
The Police Department and Chief Rodney Monroe are also named in the suit.
The city had paid nearly $21,000 through mid-August and defended its stance to drop Kerrick citing the city policy from 1977.
"I have decided that it would be inconsistent and untenable for the city to defend Officer Kerrick in the civil lawsuit due to the fact that CMPD charged Officer Kerrick with a crime," said City Manager Ron Carlee.
Police charged Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter saying he shot and killed Ferrell in September of 2013 after crashing his car.
Ferrell was unarmed at the time.
Kerrick's attorney George Laughrun said he's disappointed that the city stopped paying the costs saying the city should have either paid all the costs or none at all.
The North Carolina Fraternal Order of Police stands behind Kerrick and said it's never heard of a city doing this before.
The NCFOP is already helping with Kerrick's criminal costs but said he can now apply for civil costs, which the FOP believes will be covered.
Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: