CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The family of Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot and killed by a CMPD officer, traveled to Charlotte on Wednesday to mark the three-year anniversary of his death.
They spoke to Channel 9 about the work they're doing to honor his memory.
“It’s just, like, fresh, like it just happened,” said Georgia Ferrell, Jonathan Ferrell's mother.
Three years have passed since Officer Randall Kerrick shot and killed Ferrell in north Charlotte. Investigators said Ferrell was involved in a car accident before the shooting and ran toward officers.
But his mother's pain endures.
“This morning it was like waking up to the day to get the news: Your son has been killed,” she said.
A jury declared a mistrial last year in Kerrick’s trial, and manslaughter charges were dropped. Since then, the family said they’ve focused on serving the community through the Jonathan A.P. Ferrell Foundation.
The Ferrells hold toy drives and said they are working to create a scholarship for students at historically black colleges and universities.
Another one of the foundation's goals is to help children build stronger relationships with police.
"If we can get cops back into the schools to interact with you and kids, we can close that gap," said Willie Ferrell, Jonathan's brother.
Community advocate Robert Dawkins said the case highlighted the need for stronger police-community relations.
"I think Jonathan Ferrell was a tipping point for the city," Dawkins said.
He said it inspired the Cops and Barbers program and boosted momentum to get the city to pass a civil liberties resolution, pushing for more transparency for police.
"The way the Ferrells handled the case with such poise and commitment to peace really galvanized people," said Dawkins.
A candlelight vigil to mark the three-year anniversary will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Marshall Park.
The NAACP is sponsoring a wreath laying at 5 p.m. Saturday at the site where Ferrell was killed on Reedy Creek Road in the Bradford Farms neighborhood.
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