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Former Wilmington police officer indicted in excessive force cases

Delaware Public Media

A former Wilmington police officer is indicted for two excessive force cases that took place in September 2021.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced the indictment against 27 year-old Samuel Waters following a Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust investigation into footage on social media, where he is caught on camera repeatedly slamming a man’s head into plexiglass during an arrest in Southbridge.

DOJ says its investigation also discovered Waters failed to turn his body-worn camera on during the September 21st incident and he lied on official documentation about the incident.

DOJ also says Waters was involved in another excessive force incident days earlier, using his nightstick to apply downward pressure on the back of a victim’s neck, pushing their face into the back of a vehicle and causing injuries.

“The evidence in this case shows a clear and disturbing pattern of violence and deception,” said Attorney General Jennings in a statement. “The defendant repeatedly abused a position of trust and authority and then subsequently lied about it. We don’t tolerate this kind of misconduct by anyone—let alone from someone who swore an oath to protect his community—and we will prosecute his crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”

Waters now faces eight charges - including two felonies - that could land him in prison for up to 13 years if he’s convicted.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.
Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades.