Jeremy McDole Family Sues Police Dept.
The family of a Black man who was fatally shot by Wilmington police while sitting in his wheelchair have sued the police department and the city, alleging that the shooting was racially motivated.
The Superior Court civil rights lawsuit claims that officers involved in the September shooting of Jeremy McDole violated “use of force” policies and had no reason to use “grossly excessive and wanton lethal force” against him.
“Before using deadly force, Jeremy should have been talked down by a properly trained professional before a cowboy mentality seeped into police work,” the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, McDole, 28, was the victim of intentional racial discrimination. It also states that the four officers involved in the shooting would not have shot a similarly situated white person.
Officials have not released the names or races of the officers involved in the shooting.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we’re going to get the answers in court using the legal process,” said Thomas Neuberger, an attorney representing McDole’s mother and grandmother.
“All we know is that the officers were not black, and he was black,” Neuberger said.
Officers encountered McDole after receiving a 911 call about man who had shot himself and was still armed with a handgun.
“Back up, back up, he’s still got a gun,” a frantic woman yells at bystanders as she talks to a 911 operator.
“Please get the police here, he shot himself, he’s still got a gun in his hand,” the woman tells the operator.
A bystander’s cellphone footage shows responding officers repeatedly telling McDole to drop his weapon and raise his hands and McDole reaching for his waist area before shots erupt.
Authorities say they recovered a .38 caliber handgun near McDole’s body, but the lawsuit claims that McDole was unarmed.