The family of Lymond Moses, a black man shot dead by Delaware police in January, announced a police lawsuit on Monday saying his death was not justified and is another example of white police unnecessary lethal force against black citizens.
Moses, 30, was killed around 1 a.m. local time (5 a.m. GMT) on January 13 in Wilmington during a meeting with three New Castle Counties. police police officers, two of whom fired nine times at his car, the fatal shot having hit his head, according to the death certificate.
Several hours after the shooting, the police department issued a press release stating that Moses had run away from the police in his car, hit a dead end, turned around “and drove at high speed straight to the police men. The police then unloaded their guns and hit the driver ”.
After pressure from family and civil rights groups, the police department in March received orders from New Castle County Director Matt Meyer to broadcast video footage from the body cameras of the three officers.
According to the footage, officers, who were on patrol looking for stolen vehicles, found Moses asleep in his car with the engine running, woke him up and asked him to get out of the vehicle.
When they told him they were looking for stolen cars, Moses replied that his car had not been stolen, the video showed. After finding marijuana in his car and telling him that the marijuana was not a problem, they repeatedly asked him to “get out”. Moses left instead. As he did, a officer shouted “motherf **** r”.
The following images contradict the press release, say the family and the Delaware American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). They say it is clear from the video that Moses walked around the officers as he tried to flee, and was shot as he passed, then walked away from them.
According to the trial, who also targets the Police Department and New Castle County for “excessive and unwarranted” use of lethal force by police officers, none of the three “has ever had a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.”
“It is simply not true, how they killed my son,” Moses’ mother Rozzlie Moses, 50, told Reuters. She said the police “too murdered my son”, who himself was the father of three children aged 10, 9 and six months.
The circumstances appear to be similar to those of the recent police murder of Andrew Brown Jr, a black man who was shot dead while fleeing from police in an attempted arrest last week.
Lawyers for Brown’s family alleged at a press conference Tuesday that he was executed with a “fatal blow” to the back of the head.
When the video of Moses’ death was released, Lt. Brian Faulkner of the New Castle County Police Department said, “Based on this video, we cannot draw any conclusions as to whether the officers acted. according to policy and law, until all the facts are known. , and the investigation is over. “
The county executive did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. Two unnamed officers have been placed on administrative leave.
A spokesperson for the Delaware attorney general, who is investigating the shooting, said their names would not be released until the investigation was completed.
Mike Leonesio, former police officer and expert in use of force, who is unrelated to the case, told Reuters that “the videos, while sensational, fail to respond if the shoot was objectively reasonable – the legal standard and the ultimate question – without further information.”
ACLU Delaware Executive Director Mike Brickner reviewed the body camera footage. He observed that it was “different” from the press release.
“As he drove away, he was very clearly avoiding the police. If you look at the two officers who fired, it looks like they shot him to prevent him from escaping.
Brickner further noted the difference between the initial police press release and what bodycam footage is similar to what happened in the case of George Floyd, murdered last May by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin.
A court last week condemned Murder chauvin for keeping his knee on Floyd’s back for over nine minutes. The original police press release in this case stated that Floyd had died after a “medical incident”.
The verdict inspired activists and family members of those killed by police to lobby for more accountability.
Mother of #MarioGonzalez said her son was overweight and died of suffocation when Alameda’s police had their knees on their backs.
She says he wasn’t rude to the police or insulted them. Edith Gonzalez says she doesn’t know how to explain Mario’s death to her grandson @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/WJ4kJOIpM3
– Melissa Colorado (@melissacolorado) April 27, 2021
The family of Mario Gonzalez placeholder image, 26, claims he was killed the same way Floyd was killed after police knelt on top of him in a park in Alameda, Calif.
Gonzalez’s brother Gerardo told a press conference on Tuesday that “the police killed my brother the same way they killed George Floyd” after the body camera footage was released.
The family demands answers and accounts for his death.