The officer, who was not identified by Wilmington Police, is a 3-Year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department’s patrol division.
WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: Attorneys for a Wilmington man who was seen on a surveillance video being roughed up by a Wilmington cop filed a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit in the Delaware Federal District Court on Monday October 25, 2021, according to a statement from Jacobs & Crumblar, P.A., the law firm representing the victim.
Thomas Crumblar, one of three attorneys from the firm representing the victim, previously identified his client as Dwayne Brown at a NAACP Press Conference that was held on Monday October 4, 2021 in Wilmington.
Brown is the Wilmington man seen in a video as well as a Wilmington Police Officer who Crumblar identified as Patrolman Samuel Waters. The attorneys allege that Waters is the officer seen in the video banging Brown’s head against a wall inside the Three C’s Market in Southbridge on September 21, 2021. The attorney’s also allege that Waters used racial epithets at Brown.
At a press conference held Monday October 4, 2021 in Wilmington, NAACP President Richard Smith said, “today, we are calling on the policeman to be arrested.” Smith continued saying, “We know the mayor has a tough job. We know the chief got a tough job. But when a person is out of control, they are out of control and you need to get rid of them before they hurt somebody in our community.”
“When you see somebody…a cop grab somebody by the head, and just take it, and slam his head, that ain’t no cop. That’s a thug just like they say about us.” Smith continued.
“We deserve action and we deserve accountability and we as a community deserve it right now,” Said Coby Owens, NAACP Executive Committee.
The officer, who was not identified by Wilmington Police, 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.”
When we reached out to Wilmington Police about the incident in September, 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.
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.”
“Now’s the time for the mayor to step to the front and do what he’s supposed to do. Change the police Department, Change the leadership, come to the table. Listen to the NAACP, listen to Black Lives Matter, listen to these young folks now beginning to come to the NAACP and join force. Listen to us. We have a plan. Listen to our plan.” Said Smith.
“Lets get real here. This ain’t about the incident. No, it’s about the police officer. Going about the arrest the wrong way with his hands first.” Said Ty Brown, family spokesman. “Violence, assault, and beating his head as you saw it. That’s unjustified.”
Jacobs & Crumplar calls upon anyone having knowledge of this incident between Mr. Brown and Ptlm. Waters, as well as other incidents of improper actions by Waters to come forward. Residents are also urged to call on the City to promptly release Waters’ bodycam footage of the incident for full transparency in the matter.