On Wednesday afternoon, Wilmington, De., police got a 911 call about a man in a wheelchair with a self-inflicted wound. A witness on the scene shot a cellphone video showing one officer pointing a shotgun or a rifle at the man in the wheelchair, screaming at him “drop the gun” and “hands up,” says the Wilmington News Journal. The man in the wheelchair appears to be bleeding. Three more officers, with handguns drawn, appear on the scene and scream at him to drop the gun. The man fidgets, trying to raise himself out of the wheelchair. He slides his hand up his thigh toward his waist and officers open fire. Several shots ring out. The man freezes, then falls sideways onto the ground.
No gun is visible in the video, which was posted on YouTube. Yesterday, Police Chief Bobby Cummings said Jeremy “Bam” McDole was armed and reaching for a weapon. McDole's family disputed those findings and called for a federal investigation. McDole's mother, Phyllis, said her son did not have a weapon and would never harm himself. “This was murder,” she said. “He shot my son like he was roadkill.” Cummings said, “I'm sorry for the officers and family of Mr. McDole, as this encounter unfortunately ended with the loss of his life. I know that this incident could impact police and community relations, therefore, I will ensure a thorough and transparent investigation will be conducted.” The city police department has been working to improve relations with its residents in the past year. Officers get sensitivity training and recruits are taught about cultural diversity.