Crime N.C. Man Sentenced to Decades Behind Bars in Crime Spree Connected to Shooting of City Police Officer
A Black cop's murder conviction was overturned. For Minneapolis' Somali community, justice is complicated.
After Mohamed Noor's murder conviction was overturned, the Somali community in Minneapolis is left with mixed feelings about what justice means.Hours before Noor was sentenced in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, speakers led the crowd — some of whom were Somali-American, like Noor — in prayer and spoke out against what they called a double standard for people of color in the criminal justice system.
A North Carolina man wason Friday for a crime spree connected to the eventual shooting of a city police officer. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Cedric Jamal Kearney, 26, of Henderson learned he will spend 252 months behind bars for “carjacking and aiding and abetting, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of stolen firearms.”
Raleigh NBC affiliate WRALthe whole thing started when Kearney used his girlfriend and a dating app to lure a man into the carjacking. The TV station said only the weapon charge was directly connected to the shooting of Raleigh Police Officer Charlie Ainsworth. The , however, suggests that Kearney and his girlfriend commenced a multi-day crime spree on January 4, 2019 which culminated in the shooting:
With windfall, city tries to reach kids trapped in violence
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The teenagers were arrested so many times that Deputy Chief Kurt Whisenand knew them by name. Accused of shootings, carjackings and armed robberies, they had become some of the most violent young offenders in Rockford, Illinois — a city with no shortage of them. But it was a report from a few years earlier that gave Whisenand the most pause. Police believed most of the five — then 13 or 14 years old — had been sexually abused by the same man whom one of the boys had met on social media. The man bought them presents, got them alone and abused them. He eventually was caught and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
Kearney and a co-defendant, Sherry Marie Richmond, robbed a Raleigh man of his car keys and cellphone at gunpoint. The crime spree continued on January 9, 2019 as Kearney and other co-defendants broke into a Holly Springs, NC apartment and stole several firearms and pairs of shoes. Finally, later that night on January 9, 2019, the Raleigh Police Department responded to a reported sighting of the stolen vehicle in the area of Shaub Drive and Teakwood Place. Upon arrival, the officers witnessed Kearney and another man attempting to get inside of the stolen vehicle. Officers gave out commands to the men and while one complied, Kearney fired shots at the officers and fled on foot.
Kearney struck Officer Ainsworth twice, the DOJ said. Its narrative continued:
Ainsworth had to be rushed to WakeMed hospital with life threatening injuries, but ultimately survived. Body Camera surveillance captured the harrowing incident in its entirety. Kearney was found several hours later in a shed of a nearby homeowner; still in possession of the gun used to shoot Officer Ainsworth. Kearney had one prior conviction for reckless driving out of Virginia.
Kearneyto the federal charges back on March 10, 2020. The case against him was put on hold, however, in August 2020 because the defendant was “suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent” and therefore was “unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and to assist properly in his defense.” To the , the government dragged its feet in placing the defendant in a treatment facility. The plea agreement was not fully accepted by the court until Oct. 7, 2021, the case docket indicates. The actual plea agreement document itself appears to be sealed as of the time of this report. Law&Crime attempted to view the document in a court database but was unable to do so.
Man Sentenced to Up to 10 Years for Shooting Into Car of Black Teens After Trump Rally
Michael McKinney pleaded guilty in June to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury for the shooting after a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Prosecutors additionally charged McKinney earlier with attempted murder, assault while participating in a felony, reckless use of a firearm and going armed with intent. The judge noted McKinney's lack of criminal history and honorable discharge from the military, and ordered two sentences to run concurrently for a maximum of 10 years. There is no mandatory minimum for McKinney to serve before he becomes eligible for parole.
A Raleigh police officer shared this photograph of Officer Charles Ainsworth, which I believe captures his personality better than the official RPD photo used by the media.
Officer Ainsworth is still fighting. Keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
— Brian Lewis (@NewFrameInc)
Durham, N.C. ABC affiliate WTVDthat Officer Ainsworth spent about a year recovering from the January 2019 shooting — including undergoing “numerous surgeries and grueling physical therapy” — while cases proceeded against four individual defendants accused of playing a role in the officer’s injuries. Ainsworth went home from the hospital in April 2019, WTVD . WRAL said the officer in early 2020, but a said he subsequently retired in March 2020.
Besides Kearney and Richmond,and were also arrested and charged in connection with the spree.
WTVDthat Officer Ainsworth was attempting to arrest Antonio Fletcher when Kearney, then 24, ran away and started shooting at Ainsworth.
Court records say the Fletchers and Richmond also pleaded guilty to the charges they faced in federal court. An attempted murder case against Kearney is proceeding separately in state court, WRAL.
Still, federal prosecutors are celebrating their own win.
“Today was a good day for both the Ainsworth family and the justice system. The Court sent a very clear message that these type of assaults on law enforcement simply will not be tolerated,” Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III said of the federal sentence.
Read the original federal indictment below:
[Image of Ainsworth via the Raleigh Police Dept. Other images via Wake County Sheriff’s Office mugshots.]
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