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FAMU honors Jonathan Ferrell following police shooting

10:49 PM, Sep 19, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The shocking shooting death of a former Florida A&M University student and talented football player is prompting outrage across the nation and raising tough questions about how police responded to the situation.

Twenty-four-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was shot ten times by a police officer responding to a 9-1-1 call in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Saturday.

Ferrell was unarmed at the time. He had just crashed a car and reportedly went to a home looking for help but the resident called police. The officer who shot Ferrell is charged with voluntary manslaughter.

On Thursday night, there were tears and hugs at Florida A&M as the university held a prayer vigil for Ferrell.

His mother Georgia was there hugging well wishers who lined up to offer their sympathies. Ferrell's younger brother Willie was also consoled by friends at the ceremony.

Jonathan Ferrell was remembered as a humble person and hard worker, especially on the football field. He loved playing safety for the FAMU Rattlers and developed a reputation as a tough player who inspired his teammates.

He also was remembered as a jokester who pulled off memorable pranks that made people laugh.

But the way he died is hard to understand. FAMU Dean of College of Education Patricia Green-Powell said his death is making the nation reflect.

"Let me say that again. Has caused our nation to reflect upon the precious gift of life itself and the humane treatment to all."

FAMU Head Football Coach Earl Holmes called Jonathan a humble kid who never complained about the demands placed on football players.

"We lost a great one but he has really won a victory. Jonathan is really in a better place."

Willie Ferrell described a series of jokes that Jonathan pulled off on his family members, including one that made him laugh so hard it brought tears to his eyes.

"Jonathan was a great person. I thank everybody for honoring my brother and being here to support the family. I can't thank you guys enough. Our family needs a lot of prayers through this time."

Jonathan Ferrell played for FAMU's football team during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Dave Heller

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