DOJ: “Our review of the evidence, as well as what we learned in our meetings, made clear that neither a prosecution of these protesters, nor an investigation into the police—both of which have been demanded, with equal volume—would serve a good purpose.”
Wilmington (DE): A Dover Post photojournalist and 21 other protesters who were detained and arrested on Tuesday June 9, 2020 by Dover Police, will not be prosecuted according to the Department of Justice.
According to a news release, “Officers also arrested a Dover Post employee who had been with the protesters for several protests (sometimes in his personal capacity, other times as a reporter).” Said State Attorney Kathy Jennings. Although the reporter was not wearing his credentials at the time of his detainment, Jennings said “When my office learned that someone with press credentials was arrested, we requested that Delaware State Police release him immediately.”
Jennings also said that Law enforcement agencies who were involved at the Camden protest will not be investigated.
“Our review of the evidence, as well as what we learned in our meetings, made clear that neither a prosecution of these protesters, nor an investigation into the police—both of which have been demanded, with equal volume—would serve a good purpose.”, said Jennings. “I may be demonized equally by those who push criminal convictions against protesters who were aggressive but non-violent, or against police who made arrests. Perhaps this is as good a sign as any that we must put June 9 behind us and find common ground.”
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. . . . There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” -The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Following the arrest of the 22 protesters including the Dover Post photojournalist, Delaware State Police released a statement saying, “The incident escalated with protesters becoming disorderly. Protesters then refused to allow a Dover Police Officer in a marked police vehicle to proceed through. Once the officer exited the patrol car, individuals became disorderly.”
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED: THIS VIDEO MAY CONTAIN OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE AND/OR SCENES OF VIOLENCE THAT SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.
According to the DOJ, the officer was trying to get ahead of the protesters to shut down a nearby intersection for them.
“While protesters were proceeding down Route 13, a Dover officer entered his patrol vehicle with the intent of closing down a nearby intersection so that the protesters could continue on the highway.[iii] One of the protesters stood in front of the patrol car and refused to allow him to proceed (DOJ is not aware of any video of this particular interaction, so the facts come from interviews and police reports). When the officer exited his vehicle and began talking with the protester, a second protester approached him and, according to police witnesses, “began to use profanity towards [him]” prompting an order for both protesters to move so that the officer could move his vehicle.,” Jennings said.
Jennings continued, “After they [Protesters] would not move, officers began to place the second protester under arrest. At this point, according to police, several protesters “began running in our direction. Protesters approached officers and [were] attempting to prevent the arrest” of other protesters. The police report continues, “Due to the overwhelming possibility of injury and violence to everyone,” the officer used his radio to call a 10-40 (officer in trouble). Police officers are trained, when they hear another officer call a “10-40” on the radio, to respond immediately to the scene and render assistance to the officer in trouble. At that point, officers and protesters were rushing to the area of the original arrest, and several protesters were arrested. The latter portion of these events, showing protesters running towards the officers, is shown on video.[iv]”
After the 10-40 call, officers began detaining protesters in the immediate vicinity, attempting to keep others away, and moved several across Route 13 into the median., Jennings said.
“In the two weeks since those arrests, our state has plowed forward in ways that make me proud. Peaceful protests have continued, all over the state, showcasing civil disobedience. Many protesters are turning passion into advocacy for reform in the halls of government. Police have accommodated the protests while keeping the public safe—I am unaware of any arrests or physical harm since June 9. The notable exception was when two law enforcement memorials to fallen officers were defaced.[v] As I have said, these acts are reprehensible and the perpetrators will be prosecuted.”
“Police Departments up and down our state—including Dover Police—have taken unprecedented action to increase transparency. Our Governor used his executive powers to bring important reforms to the Delaware State Police. And the General Assembly is moving reform bills as we speak.”
“My leadership team and I spent several hours in meetings with Dover/Camden protesters, the police, and community advocates. We discussed the disparate role of race that pervades America—no more or less with prosecutors and police than in all corners of our society. We heard compassion and empathy for the community. But what struck me was their overlapping message: everyone—protesters and police—wants the same things. Equal treatment under the law. A decent life for their families. A fair chance at the American Dream.”
“In communicating my decision to the protesters and Dover Police, all parties committed to continued dialogue with each other. That is how we make progress. As Dr. King observed, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
“We, as a state, are now engaging in these difficult exercises. I’m hopeful about where we are heading, and I remain committed to effectuating that progress.”
More: Video sheds light on what really happened at when a Dover Post reporter was arrested at protest.