Officer in video slamming man’s head against wall under investigation

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The officer, who was not identified is also on administrative duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation that is being led by the Office of Professional Standards., according to an official familiar with the matter.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: A Wilmington Police officer seen on a video banging a man’s head against a wall that has attracted the attention of community leaders is now under investigation.

The officer, who was not identified, is a 3-Year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department‘s patrol division. He is now on administrative duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation that is being led by the Office of Professional Standards., according to an official familiar with the matter.

The video first came to light from DETV producer, Ivan Thomas, who said, “I need an explanation! The community needs an explanation! While this hits home, this is so disturbing to me. This is one of my childhood best friends in a corner store in South Bridge in #wilmingtondelaware, my old neighborhood. As I support the Wilmington Police I also support the people in my community. Today I need answers, today the community needs answers because this is just wrong.”

 

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When we reached out to Wilmington Police about the incident, a spokesman responded by saying they were aware of the video and said their department immediately launched an investigation following a review of the video.

“We are aware of this incident and of the video that has since been made public. Following any incident in which an officer uses force, in adherence with departmental policy, an internal review is conducted.,” Said Dave Karas, Wilmington Police Communications Director. “As our department began this proactive review, we immediately launched an investigation by our Office of Professional Standards and the officer has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of this investigation.”

“The video of this incident is concerning, and we will conduct a thorough investigation and take any necessary action to ensure all of our members adhere to the highest standards of service to our community.,” Karas added.

But Karas added that the interaction occurred when police received a call from a daycare facility in reference to a male subject who had been repeatedly harassing employees.

Karas explained that on Tuesday, September 21 at approximately 10:25 a.m., police received a call from a daycare facility in reference to a male subject who had been repeatedly harassing employees. Police were advised that the same subject had been at the location on several occasions, and that his conduct escalated to include screaming and making sexual comments towards staff, including in the presence of children.

A patrol officer responded to investigate, and observed the suspect – 44-year-old Dwayne Brown – enter a business in the 500 block of New Castle Avenue Karas said. Brown was taken into custody, and was also found to be in violation of a no-contact order. He was charged with Harassment (Two Counts), Resisting Arrest, Breach of Release, and Possession of Marijuana.

He was arraigned in the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas and released on $4,100 unsecured bail.

Some community members are outraged about the video which has been shared on social media and captured on a security camera at the 3C’s Food Market in Southbridge. Some are even calling for the officer’s immediate arrest and termination.

Delaware NAACP President Richard Smith told DelawareOnline “This policeman should be fired from the job and put in jail. You don’t grab nobody’s head like that if they are standing next to still.”

Vice chair for Delaware Democrats and executive committee member for the Delaware NAACP, activist Coby Owens called for the officer’s dismissal and arrest on Twitter while sharing the video in his feed.

“This is the abuse that usually goes undocumented, that goes unseen, that everyday people have to see,” Owens said Monday. “Not every incident get the same attention as George Floyd or others where we lost life, but this is still police brutality at the end of the day.”

The Delaware Center for Justice also reacted to the video, saying the “community is struggling to understand what caused this incident.”

“We have a lot of questions about how this is being handled, but primarily, why are we being given information on the victim of that attack,” said David Bever, executive director of DCJ. “Are the victim’s alleged infractions meant to be a justification for the officer’s behavior? The fact is, that was an act of violence…While we’re glad to see some steps were taken to remove that officer from the community, we need to see the body camera footage. We need an accounting of why that incident happened, what will happen next, what that officer’s record is, and what recourse the victim is entitled to. We’re calling on the Wilmington Police Department to provide these details straight away.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki called the video “deeply concerning,” echoing the sentiment expressed by Dave Karas.

“And, you know, I’d like to say so much more about these events like this, but we’re constrained,” Purzycki said. “There’s due process that everybody’s entitled to; we want to respect all the parties involved, and I’ll have much more to say at the appropriate time.”

George Shea is a Delaware Newsline Digital Broadcast Journalist and has an emphasis on crime and social justice. Contact him at gshea@delawarenewsline.com. Follow him on Twitter @denewsline.

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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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