Concerns Over Police Brutality Once Again Arise in Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Concerns Over Police Brutality Once Again Arise in Dover

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- In Dover, concerns over police brutality continue to take center stage. On Wednesday night, nearly 50 community members gathered at the Mount Zion AME Church in downtown Dover to discuss what they call police brutality in their home city.

At the event were state legislatures and community leaders as well as members from legal groups like the NAACP and the ACLU. Many, such as Shawn Russell, also told their stories of what they call police brutality.

"I left work," he said as he told the crowd about his incident that took place on September 25. "After work, I was pulled over by Troop 2, and they forced me out of the vehicle. They had guns drawn on me. They searched me, handcuffed me, searched me several times, searched his vehicle.

Russell said the police were looking for drugs in his car, but didn't find any after an extensive search. He said he is now looking for a lawyer so that he can sue the state police for harassment. After hearing about the incident, WBOC reached out to State Police, but since this allegation is so new, they have not yet released a statement on the incident. 

The meeting follows two separate allegations of police brutality directed at the Dover Police Department. The accusations were made by Antonio Barlow and James Wilson, both African-American men who said they were treated unfairly and with "excessive force" by the police officers.

Wilson has already filed a suit for $50 million in damages from the police. Barlow has not filed for a lawsuit, as of Wednesday night. Dover police maintains that their department has never allowed police brutality. They have also told WBOC that they have video that proves the police department acted appropriately when arresting Barlow, although they have not released this footage.

Russel, who maintains he was treated unfairly, said he didn't know where to turn after the incident.

"It still feels like I have nobody to turn to for help," he said. "But I'm going to continue to try to get help because if this has happened to me, it's happened to other people.

Roy Sudler Jr. from the Social Action Commission, chaired the discussion at the meeting. He said people should not jump to rash conclusions about these incidents. He said the event was all about opening up a dialogue with the police department.

"We're trying to assist law enforcement agencies," he said. "But at the same time to help bridge that gap of trust and mistrust between the community and the law enforcement agencies."

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