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.

Jeremy McDole

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.”

 

 

Posted on 08/07/2017, in Cases, Department of Justice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. 2 seconds after ordering him to drop his gun after he had shot himself. This is barbaric. De-escalation techniques have to be taught. These trigger happy LEOs have to be retrained. To be able to kill with impunity because they’re scared is ridiculous. Did they not know they might be in dangerous situations when they decided to ‘serve and protect’ us?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mindyme,
      I don’t understand that when a person might be suicidal, that the proper response is to kill that person. My thoughts are that rather than shouting to show his hands, to ask where is the gun. Personally, I don’t understand shouting nor fast speech. There are times when I’m talking to customer service on the phone that I have to ask them to slow down.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. That this even happened is an abomination, but that none of the officers involved was charged is a complete travesty of justice! I am glad the family received the settlement, but the reality is even $1.5 mil cannot replace Jeremy. I hope this case brings about changes to the policies surrounding “use of deadly force” in Delaware.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. They can forget seeing anything like $1.5 mil. The lawyer get torn off the top in a bodacious amount, the tax man takes his huge cut, the city stretches out the payments in dribs and dabs. They are not nearly finished being screwed over.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Which means emotional closure will take longer too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Livesaneblog,
      Re:

      “…the tax man takes his huge cut…”

      It was a suit filed in a federal court. The IRS does not tax settlement proceeds in wrongful death cases. 26 U.S. Code § 104 cross-referenced with IRS Code 104(a)(2).

      Yes, the lawyer will receive compensation from the settlement if taking the case on contingency. Some take a percentage while others charge by the hour and costs. Some settlements require that defendants pay attorney fees and costs separately from the settlement.

      If the settlement cannot be paid in full, municipalities generally arrange for an annuity. Since the settlement is made to the Estate of the deceased, it passes from heir to heir in the event that the Trustee can no longer serve, including the Trustee’s death.

      Liked by 3 people

    • They will not have to pay taxes on this… BUT the lawyer WILL get a big chunk of the cake.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The money cannot replace Jeremy unfortunately. I hope it’s enough to cause the police department to do the needed training. This happens all too often.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Carol,
      That’s so true. Working towards proper training and policies should always be the goal. Sandra Bland’s family worked with Texas legislators and although they did not achieve all that they wanted through that legislation, it’s a start.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. The response of the officers to this call was nothing less than incompetence. They could have easily sat in their cars or stood behind their car doors while using their Car PA System to get Jeremy to comply with whatever they needed him to do. Yet their disrespect for this black man’s life was much more important than the decency he deserved. The nerve of these cops, this city, this system……………..Ugggghhhhhhhh!!! It makes me want to puke—right in their faces.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Roach,
      You’re thinking logically with respect for human life that says talk first — don’t shoot first. What bothers me about the actions of law enforcement when a “suspect” is wounded, is that they expect for the person to be able to immediately comprehend commands AND comply with them IN SPITE of pain of having been shot. In Jeremy’s case he had already shot himself and was unlikely to go anywhere. Yes, I agree that the officers should have taken cover and waited and radioed for medical.

      Remember when Darren Wilson said that Michael Brown looked like a “demon”? I wonder if he ever looked into the face of a woman in labor?

      There should be no expectation that people in pain are going to look and behave normally. Michael was already shot before he ran. He would have ended up in some hospital or returned home for treatment of that wound and been taken into custody then.

      Then too, there was a case where a man was ordered to get out of his vehicle and he didn’t move fast enough so was pepper sprayed by the officer. The man was actually having a stroke.

      Okay — law enforcement are not doctors or psychologists to understand about comprehension while in pain and de-escalation . I am not personally opposed to raising my taxes to have physicians and mental health professionals on the police force.

      Liked by 3 people

      • “Okay — law enforcement are not doctors or psychologists to understand about comprehension while in pain and de-escalation . I am not personally opposed to raising my taxes to have physicians and mental health professionals on the police force.”
        I hear what you’re saying BUT… in the face of situations that law enforcement encounters on a daily basis, HUMAN NATURE steps into the picture. These cops are placed in high-stressed situations and make split second decisions. Too many of them are acting much too quickly and forget about the “common sense” factor. AND on top of that, the “when in Rome syndrome” parades it’s way into far too many situations as well. These cops are no different than a person that works on any other job (even though they should be). Where employees at Target may converse about someone trying to steal, that’s only a small piece of the pie as it relates to law enforcement officials. They’re time together consists of conversations about how many cars they stopped, how many people they arrested, how many drunk drivers they took downtown and locked up, etc. [speaking from personal experience here] That’s the reason that they become so desensitized to individual situations on a daily basis. The entire situation is bad and unfortunately the consequence of their actions typically results in another officer being shot down.

        Like

        • Roach,
          I understand that perfectly. Humans are imperfect. My deceased husband worked for the Chicago Police Department back in the late 60’s. He left to go into engineering, but many of his friends from the force continued visiting our home as their stress relief place. (Plus they loved my meatloaf. LOL) One of the worst things that LE experiences is how to have a social life that does not place them in a position of encountering those they have arrested or their families. They would come over and play cards, or shoot pool, or grill, or wash their personal vehicles.

          I remember one time when they talked about the stress that comes from going through with an arrest although knowing the person was telling the truth. It’s because of a perception that if they let one go, word gets around that they are weak. The word was put out on the street that all you have to tell officer ____ is the same story that ____ told him and he would believe them.

          All of them who stayed on the force until retirement, (and I’m not exaggerating), eventually ended up with some addiction; gambling, drinking, chasing women although they were married.

          They did not have the stress level that officers have today with everyone carrying a gun. The most common gun of armed criminals then were Saturday night specials that were too bulky to hide and if fired, had to be manually reloaded and the time to do that included removing the screw.

          As imperfect humans, people make mistakes, and they can assume the worst from civilian suspects. When doing that, they should keep in mind that they are trained professionals in dealing with criminals — not the mentally ill, the physical disabled, the hard of hearing nor those who do not comprehend shouts and are acrobats to immediately get on the ground.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You articulated that very well. People don’t call LE just to say “hello, how’s your day?”. They call at their saddest,maddest,and baddest times which generally helps to escalate the situation at hand. If LE would take their jobs more seriously and understand that they are paid professionals ( respecting all people) who are hired to serve/protect, perhaps the situation (s) would turn for the better all around.

            Like

            • Roach,
              INDEED! I think about the situations with Tamir Rice, John Campbell III and others where people called the police and their concern was escalated to the point where the police arrived shooting. The person who called 911 said that Jeremy had shot himself and had a gun. Maybe it would have taken an officer able to talk Jeremy down from killing himself and giving up his gun rather than shouting commands at him first.

              Liked by 1 person

            • With all of this hatred going on in this world (re: Charlottesville) I’m just numb today!

              Like

            • Roach,
              I feel the same.

              Like

        • We do not DRAFT police officers. When they find themselves unable to perform their duties as professionals they are free to QUIT. Black people cannot QUIT being black. It is a life sentence.

          I also note that you somehow managed to omit or somehow ignore those officers that are avowed and unrepentant racists. They take positive pleasure in abusing black people. Their “stress” is nothing compared to that of their victim’s. Anyone wishing proof that such officers exist in great numbers need only Google video’s for “police” brutality, injustice, racism, or any term of similar meaning.

          And – Not alone their ongoing crimes against black people. Check on their abuse of children, the elderly, pregnant women, any level or depth of violence, cruelty, depravity is there. Documented, filmed, and for the most part: unpunished.

          I submit that more than “stress”, more than ‘desensitization’, more than “as the Romans”, YOU are the cause of rampant abuse on the part of our nation’s police departments.

          You are the reason they fear no adverse consequences to their foulest actions. You, and those like you leap to their defense with a litany of excuses whereby they should not be punished for their crimes. Yet strangely, should a defendant ever offer a similar rational for his or her actions, they are dismissed out of hand.

          We weary of double, triple, quadruple, standards! If a police officer commits a crime, he or she should be punished for it. With their training, their, equipment, their resources, their privileges, they should be held to a HIGHER standard than the public. Not LESSOR, as is now the case.

          Like

          • Livesaneblog,
            While you personally attack Roach for being the cause of abuse by law enforcement, please tell what, if anything, you have done to work for a solution for that problem.

            Re:

            “I also note that you somehow managed to omit or somehow ignore those officers that are avowed and unrepentant racists. They take positive pleasure in abusing black people. Their “stress” is nothing compared to that of their victim’s.”

            I believe in equality for all, and in that belief, wrong is wrong and right is right no matter the race of the person. On this blog you will find reports about Black officers who killed Whites, as well as Black officers who killed Blacks. You can also find cases where White officers killed Whites.

            We shouldn’t pigeon hole the reason for using deadly force to be racially based. Just like police forces are not “drafted,” they neither select the districts they are assigned to work. This does not rule out that prejudices and bigotries might influence the use of excessive or deadly force, but that shouldn’t be the first reason to judge their guilt or innocence. Black, White, Latino, Asian cops, all use the fear factor and what they thought the suspect was going to do, as their defense. They then rely on their departmental policies and training to support that their actions were justified.

            The HIGHER standard applied to police officers in doing their job, is also the HIGHER standard applied to investigations and/or juries, i.e., were they justified?

            Consider the incident with Kelly Thomas. It was on video, but a jury acquitted the cops. Did it involve race? No. The officers where tried on the standard of abuse of discretion — were they justified?

            Consider Ethan Saylor. A grand jury failed to indict either of the 3 deputies because witnesses, in a dark theater, could not identify the exact deputy who fractured Ethan’s larynx. Apparently, that grand jury did not consider that Ethan was Down Syndrome and in spite of his personal assistant telling the deputies that he did not like being touched, the deputies began manhandling him. Did it involve race? No. The personal assistant was talking to deputies who did not understand anything about Down Syndrome.

            Re:

            “If a police officer commits a crime, he or she should be punished for it.”

            Indeed, but that is not possible when they are given discretion and justifications, and victims are dead and cannot testify to their thoughts and actions.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Xena,
              Thanks for your response to the previous comment. I can say that I would be the last person to support some of the nonsense that takes place by some law enforcement officials…BUT I’ve also seen it firsthand on both sides of the coin. I’ve seen the drunk, the drugged, the mad, the insane, the black, the white, the Hispanic, the racist, the cops, the judges, etc. take out their vitriolic rage against others(including LE/against suspects) for no apparent reason. All of this is akin to a double-edged sword that in my opinion began with the hatred directed at blacks. I could go on and on here but quite frankly sleep has come down on me and before I begin typing in Lala land, I’ll end this with hopes that you get the pointzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………………………………………………………………………..

              Like

            • Roach,
              Hopefully you had a good sleep.
              Sleeping

              Yes, looking with unbiased eyes, we see that hate and anger does not discriminate. It will enter and act from any willing body.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    I saw NO moment in the witness video where Jeremy posed a threat to the officers.

    No doubt that is why the family was awarded 1.5 million dollars by Wilmington and that

    “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.”

    It is very strange how the officers lined up in front of Jeremy before shooting Jeremy.

    Heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yahtzee,
      It was a firing squad. The investigation found that arriving officers heard shots, and assumed that Jeremy was doing the shooting when it was actually Senior Cpl. Joseph Dellose.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Jeremy McDole, Executed By KKKops. Family Takes $1.5 Million & RUNS. – The Militant Negro™

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