Screenshot of police officers pointing guns at Jeremy McDole, a paraplegic, moments before his death
|Date||September 23, 2015|
|Location||Wilmington, Delaware, United States|
|Burial||Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington|
|Inquiries||Delaware Department of Justice |
Wilmington Police Department
Jeremy "Bam Bam" McDole was a 28-year-old Black-American paraplegic who was shot and killed by police in Wilmington, Delaware on September 23, 2015, at 3:00 pm. McDole was in a wheelchair at the time of the shooting. Police and bystanders have offered differing accounts of the event. The exact cause of the shooting is unclear and the event is under investigation.
On September 23, 2015, at around 3:00 pm, local police in Wilmington, Delaware responded to a 911 call about a man who had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The officers who responded were Senior Cpl. Joseph Dellose, Cpl. Thomas Lynch, Cpl. James MacColl, and Senior Cpl. Danny Silva. Police arrived and found Jeremy McDole sitting in a wheelchair. The incident escalated when police instructed McDole to raise his hands, followed by McDole being shot and killed by police. According to police, a .38-caliber pistol was found on McDole after the shooting. Relatives of McDole have stated that he was unarmed. Video footage taken on a cellphone showed McDole shuffling in his chair and moving his hands while officers ordered him several times to put up his hands.
The shooting is being investigated by both Delaware's Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust and the Wilmington Police Department. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has stated that a special prosecutor is needed to ensure an impartial investigation. Other local activists questioned police tactics in an incident where a shooting occurred while no threat to an officer was ever made. The African-American community in Wilmington called for a peaceful response to the police shooting. Of the four officers involved in the shooting, three are white and one is Hispanic.
The Delaware attorney general's office decided against criminal charges against four Wilmington police officers involved, although investigators concluded one officer showed "extraordinarily poor" police work. In January 2017, a federal judge approved the city's $1.5 million settlement with McDole's family.
Subsequent to the shooting, Phyllis McDole, the mother of Jeremy, allegedly assaulted a woman she believed made the 911 call that lead to the death of her son. Phyllis McDole was arrested on assault charges and subsequently released on bail.
The death of Jeremy McDole received the attention of Black Lives Matter activists on Twitter.
A local Black Lives Matter group joined McDole's family in leading subsequent marches and protests.
In October 2015, a march was conducted by family members of Jeremy McDole and other local residents. Subsequently, marches and protests took place during the months of December and January 2016. Family members of Jeremy McDole stated that they had not received official updates on the investigations, and called for the disruption of commercial activity and the resignation of city officials.