September 23, 2015 the life of a family was changed forever. Their son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend was tragically taken by police violence. No one could of imagined that Jeremy would not make it home that night. Most of the children in his neighborhood and family anticipated his return home at the end of his work day. The kids loved to see him coming and he loved to do things for them, such as take them to the store and give me pocket money. Jeremy was a caring young man who loved his mother, his family and his community and they loved him just as much.
The day that Jeremy was murdered by police, he had been robbed and shot by an assailant, whose image was picked up by a local establishments closed circuit camera. After being shot, Jeremy was assisted by a concerned citizen. At this time, they were not aware that Jeremy had been shot. A local store clerk was told that Jeremy had shot himself and that he still had the fire arm in his possession. Without verifying these statements, the clerk called police and relayed the incorrect information to police. Before arriving, police were prepared to come into contact with a weapon yielding, suicidal person. However upon arriving on the scene police quickly realized that Jeremy was not holding a weapon, nor was he behaving erratically or suicidal.
The officers who deployed to the scene had the situation under control. This is when things went wrong. Joseph Dellose, a CPL at the time, who has since been fired for continued poor policing, arrived on the scene and after being there less than 10 seconds, Dellose approached Jeremy, told him to show his hands and then immediately afterward opened fire with a shot gun, which struck Jeremy in the neck and chest. Other officers on the site, unsure who fired first, began to shoot into Jeremy as well. The shot him 16 times. Forensics says that the first shot by Dellose would have been enough to kill Jeremy and that the only reason Jeremy stayed in his wheel chair so long, was because of the force of the bullets. When Dellose was asked why he didn't "stand down" like his fellow officers instructed he responded with "he had tunnel vision". His ability to carry a firearm was taken away after this incident.
In the Use of Force Continuum laws (a guideline for how police are supposed to interact with citizens) it clearly states the steps and procedures when dealing with citizens. Jeremy did not have a weapon and his hands were visible at all times, therefore deadly force should of never been used. It is clear that excessive force was used, however no officers were charged because of the immunity law that currently exists in Delaware. It states that if an officer “fears for their lives or the safety of others” they can use deadly force. Dellose didn’t even seek cover when approaching Jeremy. Fear obviously wasn’t a factor. Over the last 5 years the community has taken to the streets in protest in the murder of Jeremy and the corruption that seems to be protecting officers that commit crimes against citizens.
In a chat with someone we will not name at this time, the mind of the Wilmington police after Jeremy was killed was "he was a piece of shit". As the average citizen we are not allowed to assault or murder people because we feel adversely about them. Police should be no different, and in actuality their standard should be higher. How a police officer feels personally should not be on the job and if it does show up, consequences of that fact, especially when it results in death, should have a consequence. Another big issue is that new evidence has been brought to the Attorney General’s, Kathleen Jennings, attention by Terence Jones, a civil rights private investigator, however she is not even trying to review it. It is her job to review new evidence in all cases. It seems that she too is a part of the problem and rather protect bad police work than to give a family the justice they deserve.
With lack of consequences, laws that protect bad cops and politicians that won’t do the right thing, Jeremy McDole is not receiving the justice that he deserves. He should not be dead. Being robbed and shot should not be a death sentence. Unarmed men should not be shot or killed. We are hoping to get the immunity law gone or reformed in Delware. If an officer kills and unarmed person, immunity should not be on the table. Until we give the police consequences for their actions, they will continue to be reckless when it comes to human life. Another issue is the lies that police report the news papers. They often state that a weapon was found when it was not. This was true in this case as well other cases that involved unarmed citizens. The police attempt to manipulate the media has been successful in many instances. We can only assume this is done to cover up the intensity of their crimes.
Below: Mahkieb Booker; Leader of Black Liberation Movement (DE)
protests in the streets of Wilmington for justice for Jeremy
Below: Protesters outside of the Wilmington State Building