May 14, 2015
Contact: Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor
704-336-3438 or 704-614-9116
"I want to first express all of our sympathies to the Ferrell family. I thank Ms. Ferrell and Jonathan's brother Willie, for the grace they showed throughout this process. While we know money will never fully compensate them for their loss, the city council unanimously agreed that a prompt resolution to the civil case was in the best interests of the family, the city and the greater Charlotte community.
We should, all of us, be thankful for the way the police department and citizens in the community sought each other out and joined together to work through the challenging circumstances that resulted from the tragedy involving Mr. Ferrell and Officer Kerrick.
The events surrounding this case have prompted an open, candid and wide-ranging community dialogue about difficult issues. Our police chief, his leadership team, officers and numerous members of the community have committed countless hours, each trying to learn how the world looks from eyes and experiences different from their own.
We also know it is imperative that these tough conversations continue if we are to remain a united community.
It is my hope and expectation that council's adoption earlier this year of a set of guiding principles to govern interactions between law enforcement officers and the citizens they serve, coupled with the firm commitment of the department to carry out those principles, will help us maintain strong bonds of trust between law enforcement and the community.
Our men and women in uniform need the partnership of citizens and community leaders to do their jobs effectively. Our citizens need to know that those who serve them are willing to listen, to learn and to adjust when required to address concerns. We all need each other.
The Ferrell family has expressed a strong interest in the ongoing work of the city on these issues and is committed to working with the city to see that out of this tragedy can come healing."