The New Castle County Division of Police (NCCDP) on Tuesday publicly released body camera footage from the three officers involved in the shooting of Lymond Moses on Jan. 13 in Wilmington, Delaware.
The video was released along with a five-minute critical incident briefing from Lt. Brian Faulkner of the NCCDP Public Information Office, who said the footage was intended to help the public better understand what happened. He added that the police were conducting “a very thorough” and ongoing use of force investigation into the incident.
“Based upon this video, we cannot draw any conclusions as to whether the officers acted within policy and the law until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete,” Faulkner said.
The names of the officers involved have not yet been released.
According to the body cam footage, the officers approached Moses’s vehicle after seeing him sleeping in the driver’s seat with the engine idling.
One of the officers informs Moses that they were “out here looking for stolen cars” and found him sleeping with weed in plain sight. Moses tells the officers that his car is not stolen saying his mother “lives right here.”
When the officers ask Moses to get out of the vehicle he doesn’t move, appearing frustrated that he was being stopped.
“If it’s just weed, we don’t give a shit about weed,” one of the officers can be heard saying, but moments later Moses drives off with both of the front doors ajar.
He drives down a dead end street and quickly turns the vehicle around as the three officers get out of their cars and draw their weapons.
“Stop the fucking car,” an officer yells. As cops approach from the vehicle’s left side an officer can be heard yelling, “Don’t do it,” just seconds before Moses tries to flee by driving on the right side of the road, coming within a few feet of at least one of the officers who proceeded to open fire, killing him. After shots were fired, Moses’s car crashed into the front of one of the police SUVs.
According to WDEL, Moses’s family was shown the footage in February, saying through their attorney Emeka Igwe that the video was “shocking, tragic, and incredibly saddening.” Moses’ sister Lashonnah Nix said the video revealed that her brother was not driving at any of the three officers when they opened fire on his vehicle.
“My brother did not have those officers in harm’s way,” she said. “This is murder. It was no accident, it was murder. They knew what they were doing. So please, help me and my family get through this, that’s all that we want is justice.” The family also appealed to fellow Delawarean, President Joe Biden, to get involved in the case and “help us get justice.”
Jonathan Yard, the president of the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), told WDEL the the NCCDP’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.”
Watch the body cam footage above.
[image via NCCDP screengrab]
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