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Police body cam footage released in Delaware shooting, union officials disapprove of timing

Union leaders say ‘transparency and public trust’ are important but video release was premature and ‘undermines the credibility’ on ongoing investigations.

Updated: March 16, 2021 - 11:35pm

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New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer's office has released police body camera video from a police shooting that led to the death of Lymond Moses in January.

"We have invested a significant amount of your taxpayer dollars into body-worn cameras for all New Castle County Police officers on patrol," Meyer noted in a prepared statement which accompanied the video release, according to WDEL. "We do so to add transparency, accountability and public trust to complex and sometimes controversial policing decisions," he said. "In the public interest and in consideration of the due process of the officers involved, the footage from all three body-worn cameras is being released today."

In the video the man drives away from the officers after he had been asked to exit the vehicle. The officers quickly caught up with the man who had reached a road closure and turned his vehicle around. The shooting occurred after the man accelerated in an apparent attempt to get past the police.

President of Delaware Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 5 Jonathan Yard said in a prepared statement that the video was made public contrary to the advice of New Castle County Police Chief Col. Vaughn Bond Jr., the outlet reported.

"While transparency and public trust are essential between the police department and the citizens we serve, choosing to release this video now undermines the credibility of any future legal proceedings that may arise from this incident.

"The FOP wants what most people want — a fair and impartial investigation with any wrongful acts found to have occurred to be dealt with accordingly. Releasing this video now simply does not allow for that," Yard said, according to the outlet.

President of the State Lodge of the FOP Jamie Leonard also raised concerns that the video release was premature.

“Releasing this video while there are still active investigations ongoing taints the investigative process,” he said. “On the other hand, it creates the appearance of contention between our officers and the communities they serve.

“The FOP fully supports the use of body worn cameras and believes that the public has a right to view the video associated with this investigation, but not before the investigation is completed.”

 

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