Paralyzed Man In Wheelchair Gunned Down By Police
Jeremy McDole was shot in the back and paralyzed when he was 18 years old. He was confined to a wheelchair and living in a nursing home in Wilmington, Delaware. On Wednesday, 10 years after the bullet that paralyzed him, and in his wheelchair, Jeremy was shot again. He was shot to death by police officers who arrived in response to a call of a man who had a possible self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A bystander caught the incident on cellphone camera.
The incident is being investigated by officials from the Delaware Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust. That department reviews every incident that involves a police shooting resulting in injury or death. The 4 officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
The police have released few details, saying that Jeremy had a handgun when he was killed by the police. There are many unanswered questions.
Editorial opinion of the author.
Of course, the officers could not read Jeremy’s mind to know whether he thought that he had to first take the gun from his waistband in order to obey the command to put it down. They had no knowledge of whether, after being shot the first time, if his physical actions were responding to feeling pain and limited his ability to raise his hands.
In my opinion, doubt is always raised when the only method of self-preservation is to stand in the open with weapons drawn when suspecting that the person is armed. It’s a showdown that a lone citizen against armed officers cannot win, even if able to react like a robot or trained dog to obey without thinking. No one seems able to obey quickly enough. It automatically defaults to law enforcement using deadly force.
My reason for having this opinion in this situation is because in the video, we see that the first officer was out in the open when giving the command to put the gun down. He then moved for cover behind a vehicle. The other three arriving officers however, did not seek cover. Why stand in the open giving commands to an injured person in a wheelchair without knowing if he has the ability to obey? They could have taken cover and talked to him, at least until and if it came to a point where Jeremy took out the gun and aimed it. The officers were apparently wearing bullet proof vests, and they apparently place confidence in that protective gear because it gave them the courage to walk in the open with guns aimed at a person who they believed to be armed.
We will never know what was on Jeremy’s mind because he is dead. Only those officers involved get to tell what they thought as the reason behind their actions of using deadly force first without considering alternatives.