WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Leaders with the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus are calling on Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous to step down. They say his officers are using excessive force and that it's putting the community at risk.
Sonya Patrick and Charles Warren are now demanding a change. They say dash cam video shows that Chief Evangelous has lost control of his department.
"They are there to protect and serve and to me that was inhumane and unjustifiable," Patrick said. "I think that the actions of the police have a lot to do with their superior, and we are asking for the resignation of Chief of Police Evangelous."
In the video, you can see a Wilmington police officer lifting a K9 into a suspect's car and the dog attacking the man. Patrick says this is just the most recent incident involving the Wilmington Police Department and excessive force.
Warren also blames Chief Evangelous for a New Hanover County Sheriff's Department situation where a suspect was shot and killed.
"Even though there was excessive force used as far as [Brandon] Smith and they shot him 24 times, he had no weapon," Warren said. "They say he didn't follow commands and, even so, that doesn't require 24 shots."
However, Chief Evangelous released a statement saying he is taking all precautions to make sure his officers are held to the highest standards.
"My job as your Chief of Police is to ensure that the actions of our officers are monitored and that our ethics and standards are not compromised," Chief Evangelous said. "I will continue to take full advantage of the resources afforded to me to examine these incidents fully. While that may draw criticism from some, it is a matter of maintaining public and employee trust in me and the department. "
Evangelous also says that his department will remain as open with each investigation as the law will allow and that he is aware that the recent police "Use-of-Force" incidents have caused some concern in the community.
Patrick says that isn't enough though and that Wilmington needs a change.
"I think that we need new leadership, and that would be a resolution to the problems that we have in Wilmington, NC," Patrick said.
Evangelous recently met with local community leaders about recent incidents that involved "Use-of-Force." That list including these names:
The NC Black Leadership Caucus was not among those names, and Patrick says they don't plan to meet with Evangelous despite their call for the head of the Wilmington Police Department to leave his job.
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