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City of Charlotte stops paying for officer's defense in lawsuit

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — The city of Charlotte is no longer paying Officer Randall Kerrick's legal costs in a lawsuit filed by the family of a man Kerrick shot and killed last year.

Multiple media outlets reported that the city is no longer paying for Kerrick's defense in the lawsuit filed by the family of Jonathan Ferrell.

Ferrell was shot and killed after he wrecked his car and knocked on the door of a house apparently seeking help. The person in the house called police.

Investigators say Kerrick was one of three officers who responded and the only one who used his gun. Investigators say he fired 12 shots. Ten of them hit Ferrell, who was not armed.

Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting. No trial is expected before next year.

Ferrell's mother, Georgia Ferrell of Tallahassee, Florida, has sued Kerrick, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Chief Rodney Monroe, as well as city and county governments.

U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen has allowed each side to question the other two police officers at the scene, Thornell Little and Adam Neal. Mullen has put the lawsuit on hold until the criminal case ends.

City Manager Ron Carlee decided to stop paying for Kerrick's defense in the civil case.

"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," Carlee said in a statement.

If the criminal charges are dropped or Kerrick is cleared by a jury, Carlee said the city "would then provide a defense" against the civil lawsuit.

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