Internal report shows Wilmington police using more force - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Internal report shows Wilmington police using more force

An internal report says the increase in Wilmington police showing their weapons in 2013 can be attributed to officers being “hyper vigilant” after a sheriff’s deputy was shot in the Creekwood public housing community. (Source: WECT) An internal report says the increase in Wilmington police showing their weapons in 2013 can be attributed to officers being “hyper vigilant” after a sheriff’s deputy was shot in the Creekwood public housing community. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The Wilmington Police Department's 2013 Internal Affairs Report, released just last week, showed a 15 percent increase in use of force over the previous year.  

There were 232 documented incidents in 2013 compared to 201 in 2012. None of the 2013 cases and one of the 2012 incidents violated policy, according to the report.  

Incidents of hard-hand control (hitting with a closed fist) jumped by 214 percent, displays of lethal force (removing a gun from its holster) increased by 119 percent, and use of pepper spray rose by 100 percent.  

The report says the increase in officers showing their weapons can be attributed to Wilmington police being "hyper vigilant" after a sheriff's deputy was shot in the Creekwood public housing community.  

While overall force increased, some uses decreased: Tasers, 10 percent; impact weapons (battons) 57 percent; K9s, 14 percent; and soft-hand control (hitting with an open fist), 12 percent.   

The report explains several factors are behind the overall increase in use of force.

In 2013, officers received new training courses with titles such as "Surviving the First Three Seconds" and "Early Stage Street Encounters." 

"These types of training courses increase officers' awareness and reminds them of the dangerous environment they work in," the report states.  

The police department's intelligence unit also published internal bulletins that "kept officers on alert about the violent activities in the city," the report states. 

The bulletins included information about gangs promising "52 days of gun violence" as well as retaliation against law enforcement.  

Also behind the increased use of force, the report explains, was the assignment of officers to work in high-crime areas during peak hours of activity.  

In November 2013, William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, held a press conference in Wilmington questioning the department's use of force after officers shot and killed four African-American men in the month before.  

"We are concerned that officers aren't expanding their role and are deciding that suddenly they can now be judge, jury and executioner," Barber said. 

The police department investigated12 "allegations of policy violations" related to officer-involved shooting violations in 2013, according to the internal affairs report.  

While the results of specific internal investigations are not included in the report, District Attorney Ben David cleared the officers of any criminal wrongdoing following investigations by the State Bureau of Investigation.   

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Parents make heartbreaking decision over son with autism

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:10 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:10:16 GMT
    KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)KMOV has chosen not to identify him by name or show pictures of what he currently looks like. (Credit: Wallens)

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>

    A parent's love knows no bounds. But what happens when you truly believe your child is going to harm himself or someone else? One family tells News 4 they made a heartbreaking decision about their son with autism, all because they felt they had no other options. 

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Puppy recovering after getting stuck in Yazoo Co. tar

    UPDATE: Puppy recovering after getting stuck in Yazoo Co. tar

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 2:28 PM EDT2017-05-23 18:28:19 GMT
    Source: FLY Animal rescueSource: FLY Animal rescue

    The puppy was spotted under a leaking tar storage container on the public property. According to the animal rescue group that posted about the situation on Facebook, it cried out for help, unable to move as one side of his body and his face were stuck in the substance.  

    More >>

    The puppy was spotted under a leaking tar storage container on the public property. According to the animal rescue group that posted about the situation on Facebook, it cried out for help, unable to move as one side of his body and his face were stuck in the substance.  

    More >>
  • Breaking

    Kirbyville High School principal resigns, then shoots, kills self in parking lot

    Kirbyville High School principal resigns, then shoots, kills self in parking lot

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-05-24 15:31:33 GMT

    Following his resignation Tuesday afternoon, the principal of Kirbyville High School walked out his truck, where he apparently shot and killed himself, according to police.

    More >>

    Following his resignation Tuesday afternoon, the principal of Kirbyville High School walked out his truck, where he apparently shot and killed himself, according to police.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly