Delaware Public Media

Brandon Roberts investigation latest to clear police in fatal shooting

Aug 19, 2020

The state Department of Justice determined again that a police shooting of a civilian in Delaware was justified. 

Milford police officers Nigel Golding and Patrick Karpin shot and killed 27-year-old Brandon Roberts in his apartment building in January following a domestic incident call.

In its third police use of force investigation released this month, DOJ concluded Golding and Karpin’s belief they had to shoot Roberts to protect themselves was “objectively reasonable.” 

That subjective belief largely justifies law enforcement in using force under state law.

Security camera footage shows Roberts emerging from his apartment with a knife and moving toward one of the officers. Roberts is shot and falls to the ground seconds later. 

Roberts’ fiance, Erica Jones, disputes the police version of events and alleges misconduct. She told 911 operators Roberts had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and had consumed alcohol and Xanax.

The police in this incident were wearing body cameras — unlike in several other recent police shootings.

State Attorney General Kathy Jennings has criticized the state use of force standard as too lenient to officers and too subjective. She advocates changing it so officers must prove their use of force was actually necessary.