Court upholds firing of former Wilmington officer

(File/WHYY)

(File/WHYY)

A New Castle County judge has ruled in favor of the Wilmington Police Department in a lawsuit by a former officer who was fired for dishonesty and using excessive force.

The judge on Tuesday granted summary judgment to the defendants in a lawsuit filed by Michael Defelice.

Defelice was fired after a 2013 hospital emergency room incident in which he used force against a prisoner whose hands were cuffed behind his back. He claimed the prisoner was unruly, had threatened him and his family, and had tried to grab his Taser.

Investigators said surveillance camera footage contradicted Defelice’s account of the incident. The footage showed Defelice using an unauthorized rear chokehold, and did not show the prisoner grabbing the officer’s Taser.

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