New Castle County Police have released the body cam footage of the officer-involved shooting death of Lymond Moses who was shot and killed by two New Castle County Police officers on January 13, 2021.
NEW CASTLE (DE) by Digital Staff: A family is heartbroken and looking for answers. Answers they seem to not be able to get and after the family’s attorney Emeka Igwe of Igwe Firm fought weeks to have the video made public, New Castle County Police released the video on Tuesday, but the family and Igwe wasn’t happy with it.
“That video is redacted. There is audio that shows the whole interaction from the very beginning. I couldn’t help but notice that the audio of the officers when they first approached the vehicle is missing, and that audio exists.,” Igwe said.
The family had previously watched the video with New Castle County Police Chief COL. Vauhn Bond Jr. and Igwe now questions why the video needed to be redacted or have a commentary to it citing there was more audio in the video than what was made public.
In the video, a seven minute commentary was done by New Castle County Police spokesman Lt. Brian Faulkner, who said there is a 30-second delay when their cameras are activated to when the audio begins recording, but Igwe said that 30-second gap in the audio wasn’t in the video when they watched it with Chief Bond.
In the body camera video of Moses’ initial counter with police, officers can be heard stating that he was sleeping in the car while the vehicle was in drive.
“We are making sure you’re alright,” one of the officers can be heard saying. Moses responds by saying his mom lives nearby., “I’m okay, my mom live right here,”
“Alright man, well we’re just out here looking for stolen cars, we see you sleeping and you got weed sitting right there,” one of the officers continued. “We thought we make contact and make sure you are alright.”
One of the officers says they are going to pull Moses out of the car, and asks him to step out of the vehicle, urging him to cooperate.
“Dude, don’t resist. Just, just cooperate,” an officer can be heard saying. “Okay? This is going to go very easy just cooperate.” Another officer is heard saying, “If it’s just weed, we don’t give a [expletive] about weed,” Moses responds by saying, “That’s all it is”
The officers again ask Moses to step out of the car before he starts the car and drives off. The officers can be heard asking him not to leave., but Moses took off towards a dead-end street.
The officers then get back into their vehicles and pursue Moses in his vehicle for a short distance. Officers can then be seen getting back out of their cars as Moses attempted to turn around after turning down a dead end street.
“Stop the [expletive] car,” one of the officers says as Moses reverses further down the dead end street. “Don’t [expletive] do it, don’t do it,” the officers shout, as Moses accelerates in an apparent attempt to get around the officers. At that time, gunfire could be heard, and Moses is apparently struck as he slams into the front of a police SUV.
In it’s first shooting of the year, New Castle County Police said the officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle in the area of Rosemont Ave and East 24th Street in the City of Wilmington around 1:00 a.m. January 13, 2021, but many question why the officers were investigating in the city when Wilmington has it’s own police force.
Delaware Newsline reached out to New Castle County Police about their policies and procedures for conducting police business outside their jurisdiction and have not received a response as of the publishing date of this story.
We also reached out to Wilmington Police and they declined to comment and referred us to the department of Justice.
Although the video shows officers making contact with Moses, at the time of the officer-involved shooting on January 13, 2021, police released a statement stating “When the officers began approaching the vehicle, it sped off away from them towards a dead end street.”
It was then that police say the vehicle, upon making a U-turn at the dead end, began accelerating at the officers at a high rate of speed.
“The officers subsequently discharged their firearms and struck the driver.,” Police spokesman Michel Eckerd said. “The officers immediately rendered first aid and were later assisted by other emergency medical personnel. However, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Later that day, New Castle County Police Chief Colonel Vaughn M. Bond, Jr. reflected on the first officer-involved shooting of the New Year.
“The events of this morning are tragic as the lives of our officers and the Moses family have been forever altered. I can assure those we serve that we are committed to conducting a thorough and exhaustive investigation to determine exactly what occurred during the officers interactions with Mr. Moses.”
“My brother did not have those officers in harm’s way. This is murder. It was no accident, it was murder. They knew what they were doing. So please, help me and and my family get through this, that’s all that we want is justice.”
The three officers have since been placed on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation. In it’s seven minute commentary, New Castle County Police spokesman Lt. Brian Faulkner said “It cannot draw any conclusions about whether the officers acted within policy and law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete.”
“Our understanding of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected, analyzed and reviewed,” Faulkner said.
To date, the names of the officers involved have not yet been released. In most cases across the country, officers involved in shootings are not named unless they are charged with a crime.
Delaware Newsline reached out to the Department of Justice about their reaction to the release of the video, they released the following statement:
“The DOJ’s policy regarding the publication of evidence from police-involved shootings is intended to maximize transparency within our ethical boundaries as a prosecuting agency.,” Said Mat Marshall, a spokesman with the Department of Justice. “Our unique responsibilities typically preclude us from releasing camera footage until an investigation is complete. We respect the County Executive’s decision. We will work to ensure this public release of evidence will not impact the integrity of the Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust’s investigation.”
Jonathan Yard, the president of the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), told WDEL the the NCCPD’s decision to release the body cam footage before completing their investigation was not prudent and could cause legal problems going forward.
“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,” he said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Igwe called for the officers to be terminated immediately and said there is “no need for a lengthy investigation. This has been going on since January.”
In a press conference Tuesday, Igwe and the family called on New Castle County police to immediately fire the officers.
“We call upon the Attorney General’s Office of Delaware to prosecute these officers. We call upon New Castle County police to immediately fire these officers. Right now they’re on a paid vacation on administrative leave. These officers should be immediately terminated,” Igwe said.
He added, “If the Attorney General of Delaware refuses to prosecute these officers then we call upon President Biden to instruct his Justice Department to immediately investigate and prosecute these officers. This is President Biden’s backyard. This occurred in his home city.”