Family of Jeremy McDole Who Was Killed By Wilmington, Delaware Police Settles for $1.5 Million.
Hat tip to Black Freedom @Freedom4Blks on Twitter for reminding me about this case. It inspired me to write this follow-up.
On September 26, 2015, I blogged on the shooting of Jeremy McDole in Wilmington, Delaware. Jeremy was partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
A call to 911 reported that Jeremy had wounded himself with a gun. Further investigation found that there was gunshot residue on Jeremy’s hands. While wounded and confined to his wheelchair, Jeremy was shot by officers 16 times.
The arrival and subsequent actions by four police officers were caught on cell phone video. The video was considered in the investigation into the officers’ use of deadly force.
The video showed Jeremy McDole rubbing his knees as Senior Cpl. Joseph Dellose and three other officers – identified in the report as Senior Cpl. Danny Silva, Cpl. Thomas Lynch and Cpl. James MacColl, moved into the open, without cover.
The investigative report found that Dellose fired at Jeremy approximately two seconds after initially ordering him to show his hands, creating uncertainty among other officers who, not knowing where the gunfire came from, also turned their weapons on McDole.
On May 12, 2016, the DOJ filed a report of their investigation. None of the officers were charged and in fact, Delaware has a statute that provides immunity to law enforcement officers who use deadly force when they have subjective belief that using deadly force was necessary to protect themselves or others. You can read the DOJ’s report at this link.
On January 10, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Andrews signed paperwork approving a $1.5 million settlement to Jeremy’s family. The settlement calls for the Wilmington police to consider a comprehensive use of force policy that outlines when force is appropriate and to train officers in de-escalation procedures. Suggestions include a change of procedures such as using cover to decrease exposure to threats, and using verbal techniques to calm an agitated person.
Delaware Online reports;
“The settlement was a bittersweet matter,” said Thomas C. Crumplar, a McDole family attorney. “It’s a compromise, and the family looks forward to some closure and hopefully moving forward with better community police interactions.”