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Shot to Death for What?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) - A North Carolina policeman shot a black man 10 times, killing him, after the man was injured in an auto accident, though he was not aggressive and posed no threat, his mother claims in court.

Georgia Ferrell sued the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for the wrongful death of her son, Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot to death on Sept. 14, 2013.

Her son, "who had committed no crime and was unarmed," was "shot 10 times," Ferrell says in the lawsuit in Mecklenburg County Court.

It continues: "Despite being completely incapacitated and mortally wounded, Mr. Ferrell was then handcuffed with his hands behind his back as he lay dying on the ground."

Ferrell also sued the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, police Officer Randall Kerrick, who allegedly killed her son, and Police Chief Rodney Monroe.

Jonathan Ferrell son was 24. He played safety for the Florida A&M football team in 2009-10, and was engaged to be married and working two jobs, at a salesman at Dillard's and Best Buy, when he was killed.

On the night he was killed, her son dropped off a friend in a wealthy subdivision east of Charlotte, with which he was unfamiliar, his mother says in the lawsuit. Tired from working his two jobs, he drifted off the road and crashed into some trees. "With his vehicle disabled and unable to find his mobile phone, Jonathan has no alternative but to look for a nearby house for someone to assist him," his mother says.

He walked about a half mile to the nearest houses and knocked on a door. It was 2:35 a.m. A woman, at home with only her infant child, closed the door on him and called 911, which dispatched several officers, according to the complaint.

Jonathan left that house and walked down Reedy Creek Road, still looking for help.

Defendant Kerrick, one of the responding officers, found Jonathan and fired 12 shots at him, "striking him 10 times in the chest and arms," his mother says.

She says her son did not threaten Kerrick and that the woman who called 911 never said he had threatened her, or tried to enter her house - just that there was a black man in her yard.

Ferrell claims "the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Depa1tment has a long and extensive history of excessive force by its officers," including repeated killings of unarmed black people by white officers, which are described in the complaint.

She seeks damages and punitive damages for wrongful death, gross negligence, assault and battery, malice, deliberate indifference and civil rights violations.

She is represented by Charles Monnett III.

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