CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The family of Jonathan Ferrell honored him on his 29th birthday by feeding Charlotte's homeless for two hours Wednesday in uptown Charlotte.
Georgia Ferrell, Jonathan’s mother, said she always thinks about her son.
“The tragedy was the way he lost his life,” Georgia Ferrell said. “Every day of our lives, Jonathan is always in my mind. There are certain times things come up and I say, ‘Wow, if I only had Jonathan.’”
Four years have passed since a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, who was born 29 years ago from Wednesday.
As police use of force is yet again a topic in Charlotte, Channel 9 anchor Blaine Tolison spoke with Georgia Ferrell about how she is using the tragedy to spread a positive message across the city.
Ferrell was killed by a CMPD officer in 2013, but for his family, it doesn't seem that long ago.
Georgia Ferrell held onto a stuffed Winnie the Pooh that belonged to her son when he was a child.
"Jonathan was a great loss for myself and the family,” Georgia Ferrell said.
After he was involved in a car crash, Ferrell knocked on a neighbor's door.
In the confrontation that followed, Officer Randall Wes Kerrick shot Ferrell 10 times.
Kerrick was charged with manslaughter, but his case ended in a hung jury and the charges against him were dismissed.
Ferrell's family received a $2.2 million settlement from the city of Charlotte.
Ferrell said she misses her son, but doesn't harbor negative feelings toward police.
"All officers are not bad,” Georgia Ferrell said.
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Georgia Ferrell said she and her family drove to Charlotte from Florida in hopes of spreading a positive message in the community, by helping the homeless or speaking to children, and preventing a repeat of what happened in 2013.
"We all are people,” Georgia Ferrell said. “We got to reach out and share that love."
Police shootings have continued to shake the community.
Ferrell knows about the Keith Scott case and likes like it and said there is still work to be done.
"I think there should be more training with police officers,” Ferrell said. “They got to have something in their heart to care about these people."
Members of the Ferrell family plan to speak to children at area elementary schools on Thursday.