north carolina
Police officer charged
in fatal shooting

An unarmed man shot by police as he sought help after a car accident had moved to North Carolina to be with his fiancee and was working two jobs, his family said Monday.

Relatives said at a news conference that Jonathan A. Ferrell, 24, had lived in the Charlotte area for less than a year and was likely unfamiliar with the area where he crashed early Saturday.

Police were called after the former Florida A&M University football player knocked on the door of a home near the crash. He was hit with a Taser as he approached officers and then shot, leading to a voluntary manslaughter charge against one of the officers.

Ferrell’s mother said she was praying for the officer, Randall Kerrick. “I truly forgive him. I pray for him. And I pray that he gets off the police force,” Georgia Ferrell said. “You took a piece of my heart that I can never get back.”

Police determined that the shooting was excessive and charged Kerrick on Saturday. A police statement Saturday said that the investigation showed “Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”

The encounter unfolded, police said, after the car Ferrell was driving crashed into trees off a northeast Charlotte road about 2:30 a.m. Ferrell apparently walked about a half-mile to the nearest house and was “banging on the door viciously” to attract attention, Police Chief Rodney Monroe said. Thinking it was her husband coming home late from work, the woman who lives there opened the door. When she saw Ferrell, she shut the door and called police about 2:30 a.m., Monroe said.

Officers responding to the breaking-and-entering call found Ferrell nearby. Ferrell ran toward the officers, who tried to stop him with a Taser. Police said that he continued to run toward them and Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.

Chris Chestnut, an attorney for Ferrell’s family, applauded police for charging Kerrick quickly. “To shoot first and ask questions later is not an appropriate action for a police officer,” Chestnut said.

— Associated Press

Bill Daley drops
run for governor

In an unexpected and abrupt announcement, Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff and longtime Democratic political operative, is ending his bid for the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor.

Daley served as a chief of staff for President Obama and previously served as commerce secretary and was chairman of Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. He is the son and brother of former Chicago mayors. His decision comes only four months after he announced plans to challenge Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

In an e-mail, Daley told The Washington Post that he “just decided this is not [the] life for me for the next five to nine years.”

A campaign adviser, who asked not be identified in order to speak frankly, said Daley has been wrestling with the decision for some time and was really agonizing about it. Ultimately, Daley decided “that the worst thing that could happen is that he could win,” the adviser said.

— Dan Balz and Ed O’Keefe

9/11 victim identified: Another person, a 49-year-old man, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City has been identified. His name was withheld at his family’s request. About 2,753 people died in the the World Trade Center attacks.

Bullied child mourned: About 250 people attended a funeral Monday in Bartow, Fla., for Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old Central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide after she was bullied online by several girls for nearly a year.

Extortionist sentenced: Thomas George Paculis, who was accused of trying to extort $200,000 from embattled Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen, was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison.

— From news services