No federal charges for Wilmington PD in Jeremy McDole death

Paramedics work on Jeremy McDole after the wheelchair bound man was shot by Wilmington Police last year. (File/NewsWorks)

Paramedics work on Jeremy McDole after the wheelchair bound man was shot by Wilmington Police last year. (File/NewsWorks)

The U.S. Dept. of Justice says there was insufficient evidence to charge four members of the Wilmington Police in the shooting that left a wheelchair-bound Wilmington man dead.

In the days after 28-year-old paraplegic Jeremy McDole was shot and killed, his family and some community leaders called for a federal investigation into his death. On Friday, the family was informed of the decision not to pursue charges against the officers.

The Dept. of Justice said McDole did not respond to the officers demands to drop his gun, but instead rolled his wheelchair into the street and reached into his waistband. The FBI enhanced a cell phone video of the incident and determined that McDole continuously moved his hands around his waistband as officers yelled for him to raise his hands. An officer removed a gun from McDole’s waistband after he was shot.

In May, the Delaware Department of Justice announced their decision not to file charges against the officers. Attorney General Matt Denn’s office initially tried to pursue a felony assault charge against one officer, Senior Corporal Joseph Dellose. That effort was unsuccessful as their investigation determined that his actions “did not constitute criminal conduct under Delaware Code.”

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The AG’s office called Dellose’s actions “extraordinarily poor police work” that put both the public and fellow officers at risk. “DOJ does not believe that Dellose should be employed by the Wilmington Police Department in any role where he would be carrying a firearm in public,” read a statement in the report. Dellose approached the scene from the opposite side of other officers and was the first to fire his shotgun.

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