What started out as a fun night for one Air Force mechanic attending a Saturday night pre-season football game between the Miami Dolphins and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium turned violent afterwards in the middle of a nearby ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest. His dad is seeking answers:
Matthew Whitehurst is a 23 year old Air Force jet engine mechanic who has served in the Middle East, Japan, and South Korea. But, it’s an assault in Uptown Charlotte that could keep him from a special deployment to Europe next month.
“I’m angry and I want whoever did this to pay for what they did,” Matthew’s father, Todd Whitehurst, told WBTV.
Matthew told his father the three walked by the Transit Center just as protesters against the Kerrick Mistrial got to the Transit Center and the EpiCenter. He said they were assaulted – he was sucker punched from behind. The blow fractured his jaw.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall Kerrick, who is white, was tried for voluntary manslaughter in the September 2013 shooting death of former Florida A&M football player Jonathan Ferrell, a black man. Kerrick contends he shot in self-defense while Ferrell’s family – and prosecutors – believe the officer used excessive force. Ferrell’s family made clear early on they did not believe race was a factor and also called for peace, while Ferrell’s mother expressed forgiveness towards Officer Kerrick.
Protest groups believe exactly the opposite, however, and took to the streets last weekend in Charlotte after a mistrial was declared when the jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal. Two were arrested Friday night for assaulting officers, and others threw rocks at the police…