• Rally for Ferrell not deterred despite arrest of its organizer

    By: Paige Hansen


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new grand jury will likely hear the case Monday against a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer charged with killing an unarmed man.

    But first, a motion from the defense to block the grand jury will be heard.
    The dozens of people planning to rally in support of the victim said their message will not be distracted by the recent arrest of a civil rights activist leading their charge.

    Channel 9 reported the leader of the group True Healing Under God, John Barnett, was arrested Friday for driving with a revoked license.

    ARTICLE: Founder of civil rights group arrested on traffic charge

    Barnett has been pushing for justice ever since Officer Randall Kerrick was charged in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.

    Barnett organized a rally after a grand jury refused to indict Kerrick last week.

    Eyewitness News reporter Paige Hansen talked with Barnett about Monday’s rally in the wake of his arrest.
    Barnett says he does not want the focus to be on his arrest and he doesn't think it's a distraction from what he's trying to do.
    He said he'll be at the rally Monday, along with what he hopes is a big crowd of supporters all praying for justice for Ferrell.
    Barnett was at a worship service Sunday morning singing and praying along with members of Next Level Ministries.
    The Gaston County Sheriff's Office told Channel 9 that on Friday a deputy saw Barnett make a turn without using his blinker.
    Barnett was arrested for driving with a revoked license.
    At a news conference Sunday Barnett's attorney, Timothy Smith, didn't have a lot of answers as to why his client's license is revoked.

    SPECIAL SECTION: Jonathan Ferrell
    “I don't know the answer to that,” Smith said.

    He said he will look into Barnett's driving record starting Monday.
    In 2010 Channel 9 reported that Barnett, the leader of the civil rights initiative THUG, was arrested and charged for DWI.
    Channel 9 checked his record online and Barnett was also arrested last summer for driving with a revoked license, but the Sheriff's Office doesn't know why the license was revoked.
    Barnett said his personal life shouldn't be a distraction.

    “I don't think a minor traffic ticket has anything to do with an individual being shot down 10 times,” Barnett said.

    Supporters who plan to be at Monday’s Prayer for Justice rally in uptown agree.
    "It's more about Jonathan Ferrell and should be less about John Barnett,” said Lakeisha Crank. “He's just trying to help a situation, so whatever he's going through on a personal level  should not distract anyone from wanting justice for Jonathan Ferrell's family."
    A strong showing and a different decision from a grand jury is what Barnett is hoping for tomorrow.

    “I will never stop what I'm doing,” Barnett said. “Nothing can stop me. Nothing.”

    Regarding Barnett's license, Channel 9 plans to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Sheriff's Office again to find out why his license is revoked.

    In the past week this case has gone through a series of legal hoops starting Tuesday after a grand jury panel refused to indict Kerrick on voluntary manslaughter charges.

    Two days later the attorney general’s office announced it was resubmitting the case.

    Last Friday Kerrick's lawyer filed a motion to stop the new grand jury hearing Monday saying the state doesn't have the right to go through this process again on the same charge.

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    Rally for Ferrell not deterred despite arrest of its organizer