Attorney General Roy Cooper, discussing in a news conference Friday his decision not to re-try Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, called for better training in the use of force by law enforcement.
Cooper said the General Assembly should pass pending legislation that would pay for enhanced training in lethal force.
He said law enforcement officers deserve better pay, early retirement, the proper equipment and better training. But, he said, they are responsible for following the training they receive.
The legislation the attorney general mentioned is in the budget mix that House and Senate negotiators are working with. Both chambers included funding for the training in their budgets.
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One line item would commit $455,000 in the current fiscal year for the N.C. Justice Academy to develop courses and training in use of force for local law enforcement agencies. Another nearly $260,000 would go to the State Highway Patrol to develop training for state law enforcement officers, including the State Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Law Enforcement and State Capitol Police.
One-time purchase of training simulators is included in that money.
A jury deadlocked 8-4 to acquit Kerrick of voluntary manslaughter. Cooper said a review by attorneys in his office led to the unanimous conclusion that a re-trial would not be successful.