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N. Carolina policeman won't be retried for shooting death of black man

The North Carolina Attorney General's office said it would move to dismiss the case after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, with eight of the 12 panelists favored acquittal.

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    Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Officer Randall Kerrick testifies during his voluntary manslaughter trial, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Charlotte, N.C.
    Davie Hinshaw, The Charlotte Observer/AP
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North Carolina prosecutors said on Friday they have decided against seeking a retrial for Randall Kerrick, a white police officer whose manslaughter trial in the killing of an unarmed black man ended in a hung jury last week.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office said it would move to dismiss the case after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict, with eight of the 12 panelists favored acquittal.

"In consideration of the jurors' comments, the evidence available to the state, and our background in criminal trials, it is our prosecutors' unanimous belief a retrial will not yield a different result," Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Montgomery wrote to District Attorney Andrew Murray.

The month-long trial unfolded after a series of police shootings of unarmed black men, which has inspired protests and the Black Lives Matter movement that advocates for ending unjustified police violence against black men.

The mistrial last week led to two nights of vocal but mostly nonviolent protests in downtown Charlotte.

Kerrick, 29, shot and killed 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell in the early morning hours of Sept. 14, 2013. Ferrell, a former college football player, had wrecked his car and sought help from a nearby home, but the woman who lived there feared a home invasion and called 911.

When police arrived, one officer fired a stun gun at Ferrell but missed, and Ferrell began running toward Kerrick, who had drawn his gun.

Kerrick testified at trial that he feared for his life. At point-blank range, he fired 12 shots at Ferrell, 10 of which hit. Ferrell died at the scene.

"They didn't try hard enough. It was just another black life. They don't care, it doesn't matter," Ferrell's mother, Georgia, told The Charlotte Observer after prosecutors called her Friday.

"I am going to continue to fight. I am going to work on the foundation, continue to work for justice," she said. "It's not the end."

In May, the Ferrell family reached a $2.25 million settlement in a wrongful death suit against the city of Charlotte. As a condition of the settlement, the city admitted no liability or fault in Ferrell's death.

Kerrick has been on unpaid leave from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since the shooting. It was unclear Friday whether the department would change his status.

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