DOVER, Del. (AP) — Authorities have released body camera footage of a police encounter with a Delaware man who was fatally shot as he drove toward officers while trying to flee in a vehicle.
Lymond Moses was shot shortly after 1 a.m. on Jan. 13 after being confronted by three New Castle County police officers who were patrolling in a Wilmington neighborhood where several stolen vehicles had been found recently.
Moses, 30, has a history of drug dealing and probation violation convictions dating to 2012, and he was on probation for drug-dealing charges at the time of the shooting.
Lt. Brian Faulkner, a spokesman for the county police department, said in a video accompanying the body camera footage that officers recovered marijuana and “multiple illegal narcotics” after the shooting, and that authorities later learned that Moses was wanted on a probation violation charge.
The body camera footage begins with officers approaching Moses’ car, which was parked on the street with the transmission engaged, engine running and dome light on.
Moses appears to be asleep behind the wheel but wakes up after an officer, identified in the video as Officer 1, reaches through the open driver’s side window and turns off the ignition with his baton. Moses then rolls up the window, and the officer opens the door.
“My mom live right here! Why you waking up like...?” Moses says in a loud, agitated voice.
“You don’t need to scream, man. We’re just trying to help you out,” the officer says.
The officers tell Moses that they are looking for stolen cars and also point out that marijuana is clearly visible in his car.
“My car’s not stolen,” he replies.
Officers then tell Moses to “hop out” of his car, but he doesn’t comply.
“Dude, don’t resist, just cooperate,” Officer 2, standing next to the open passenger side door, tells Moses.
Moses then starts the engine and speeds away, leading to a brief vehicle pursuit that ends when he drives down a dead end street. Moses turns his vehicle around facing in the direction of the officers.
“Stop the f------ car!” Officer 1 shouts as Moses puts his car in reverse.
“Don’t f------ do it! Don’t do it!” the officer shouts before Moses accelerates in his direction. Office 1 then opens fire as Moses’ car begins angling to his left and continues firing as the car passes him.
Officer 3, who had taken a position to the right of Officer 1, also points his weapon at Moses car as it begins to accelerate but does not fire.
Officer 2, who has pulled his vehicle behind other two police vehicles, begins shooting at Moses as his car crashes into the vehicle of Officer 1 while apparently trying to weave between it and a second police vehicle, behind which Officer 2 is standing.
The video was released on the order of County Executive Matt Meyer after being shown to Moses’ family three weeks ago. The family, which has said Moses’ killing was a “murder” carried out by “rogue” officers, had urged police to release the video to the public.
Faulkner, the police department spokesman, said Moses was struck by a single gunshot. His family has said he was hit four times.
Meyer said in a statement Tuesday that he had consulted with police chief Col. Vaughn Bond Jr. before ordering the release of the video. The decision was made “in the public interest and in consideration of the due process of the officers involved,” Meyer said.
“We have invested a significant amount of your taxpayer dollars into body-worn cameras for all New Castle County Police officers on patrol,” Meyer said. “We do so to add transparency, accountability and public trust to complex and sometimes controversial policing decisions.”
Bond had told Meyer that he was opposed to the timing of the release because the investigation is still ongoing, according to a departmental spokesman.
Mat Marshall, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice, said his agency’s responsibilities typically preclude it from releasing camera footage until an investigation is complete, but that it respects Meyer’s decision.
“We will work to ensure this public release of evidence will not impact the integrity of the Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust’s investigation,” Marshall said.