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Family disappointed by feds' decision not to pursue charges in McDole shooting

Anne Hoffman
Delaware Public Media

The US Justice Department announced last week it won’t pursue federal civil rights charges against four officers involved in the Sept. 2015 shooting of Jeremy McDole.

DOJ officials say their investigation concluded there's not enough evidence to indicate whether or not the officers involved willfully used excessive force.

Based on FBI-enhanced cell phone video of the incident, physical evidence, and witness accounts - DOJ asserts it did not find enough to disprove the officers’ claim they fired in self-defense.

McDole’s family members are disappointed by that conclusion, but KeandraMcDole says they aren’t done trying to draw attention to the case through protests and negotiations with Wilmington police.


“We’re going to continue going," McDole said. "Because I have to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s family member. I have to make sure. If I give up now, I’ll feel like I failed a lot of people.”


McDole adds she feels the system and local community failed her brother.  


“It’s just sad," she said. "Even my nieces and nephews, they feel it too. If we don’t fight that means we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing taking care of them, our family.”


McDole’s family maintains the wheelchair bound 28-year-old was robbed before the police encounter, and the gun found on him was planted.


McDole’s family reached a $1.5 million settlement in their federal lawsuit against the officers and the city of Wilmington.  


As part of that deal, family members will have the opportunity to discuss potential use of force policy changes with Wilmington police.

“Making sure that when a police officer is in front of something like this again, that they make sure they think it thoroughly through before pointing a gun and shooting somebody 17 times," McDole said.

That settlement – the largest payout in Wilmington’s history - is expected to receive court approval Tuesday.


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