NEW CASTLE — The Delaware NAACP State Conference of Branches asked in a letter Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate deadly force incidents involving the New Castle County Police Department since 2005.
The correspondence was sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and detailed a number of cases the state NAACP says warrant scrutiny on a federal level.
The conference spotlighted the shooting death of Lymond Moses in Wilmington on Jan. 13 and noted its concern that the incident “is indicative of a systemic pattern and practice of the use of deadly force by the New Castle County Police Department wherein the officers allege that a Black male victim attempted to run over them and was shot and killed as a result.”
Citing an ongoing investigation, NCCPD spokesman Officer First Class Grigori A. Lopez-Garcia said, “We cannot provide a comment at this time.”
The NAACP’s letter also detailed three cases — two in 2012 and another in 2017 — where police reported that men tried to run over officers before they were killed.
The Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights covering police and what can be divulged publicly about them is bringing “an adverse impact on the civil rights of civilians and subjecting African-American males to excessive and deadly force by the New Castle County Police Department that is unacceptable and unconstitutional,” according to the letter.
Signed by Delaware NAACP State Conference of Branches President Richard Smith, the correspondence concluded, “In our view the use of excessive and deadly force by New Castle County Police officers is raging out of control, warrants investigation that we request, and cries out for relief for the citizens that continue to be subjected to excessive and deadly force by the New Castle County Police Department.
“Given the recent guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial and the re-initiation of the U.S. (Department of Justice’s) pattern and practice investigations of law enforcement agencies, we know that these same efforts need to be achieved at a minimum to bring true police accountability and justice to Mr. Moses and his family and the Delaware community.”