Police Bodycam, Police

Woman’s Tense Encounter, Caught on Police Bodycam, Sparks Investigation In Delaware

'All policies, training, and practices with regard to de-escalation and cultural competency' will be reviewed.

A woman’s contentious traffic stop, captured on police bodycam footage, has sparked an investigation into the New Castle (DE) County police’s use of force.

The June 29 incident began when an officer observed multiple traffic violations and a suspended registration. In the July 4 bodycam video, the officer approached the woman’s vehicle, instructing her to exit.

The situation quickly intensified as the woman questioned the reason for the stop and attempted to contact her attorney. Despite the officer’s repeated requests, the woman refused to leave her car.

“When my backup officer gets here,” the officer is heard saying. “I’m gonna pull you out and put you in handcuffs.” The bodycam footage then shows officers forcibly removing the woman from her vehicle. During the altercation, an officer can be heard threatening, “I’m gonna punch you in your face.”

During the traffic stop, the woman’s knee and elbow were visibly scraped. Multiple police bodycam angles captured the chaotic scene, including the woman’s resistance and the officers’ force to restrain her. At one point, an officer accused the woman of grabbing his foot as another shouted profanity and demanded the woman release it.

One female officer stated she tried to keep the woman on her side so she could breathe.

In a news release, police said “an officer with the New Castle County Division of Police was traveling in the area of Walther Road and Pulaski Highway when he observed a car commit several traffic violations. The officer was also able to confirm that the car’s registration was suspended without insurance and observed an old bullet hole in the driver’s side door that had police evidence markings on it.”

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer addressed the controversy in a July 1 statement. He said the incident will be investigated by New Castle County Police’s Professional Standards and Use of Force units. In addition, the Police Accountability Board will review “all policies, training, and practices with regard to de-escalation and cultural competency.”

Questions remain about the specific charges faced by the woman at the traffic stop.