Del. NAACP calls for cops to wear cameras in wake of Ferguson

By Amy Cherry 6:08pm, November 25, 2014
VIDEO: Richard "Mouse" Smith, president of the NAACP Delaware State Conference calls for change in the State of Delaware after the decision not to indict in Ferguson.
The NAACP Delaware State Conference calls for changes to state laws in the wake of a grand jury's decision not to indict in Ferguson.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

Click here to listen

"Delaware is on the edge from having a Ferguson."

That's what's NAACP Delaware State Conference President Richard "Mouse" Smith believes, if the state doesn't take some drastic steps. He's calling for legislation that requires all cops to wear cameras and have cameras in their cruisers.

"If they get in a scuffle, you would see anything, and the lawsuits would go down 80 or 90 percent," said Smith.

Smith adds he's not against the whole police department, "just the ones who wind up doing unjust things." He hopes law enforcement would get behind the idea.

"We don't want them to cut them off. If they work eight hours, 12 hours, those cameras should run. If they go get something to eat, those cameras should run. They took an oath to protect us not to go against us," Smith said.

The Wilmington Police Department has a stash of body cameras they've purchased, but need an updated server system to be able to use them.

The Reverend Ty Johnson calls for police to "protect and serve" while practicing community policing.

"Sure, protect us, but serve us by getting out of your cars and getting to know our names" said Johnson, who's President of the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council (IMAC).

Smith is also asking youth not to protest, not to burn houses they did in Ferguson, but instead to vote and learn how to write bills--so blacks can be better protected.

"A young black can walk out this door right now and get in their and the police can ride up on 'em, and if they act wrong, if they talk wrong, they can be shot and killed--something's wrong with that picture," said Smith.

He's also calling for Governor Markell to create a statewide civil rights commission.

"If we don't have a right to look into our civil rights being violated on a state level, then we are not protected," Smith said.

"We demand, not conversation, you see, but what is constitutionally right, so that we can be all that we can be in this great state of Delaware," said Johnson.

BREAKING: City, parents suing to keep failing Moyer Academy open

By Tom Lehman 3:16pm, November 25, 2014 - Updated 3:30pm, November 25, 2014
Moyer Academy (WDEL/file)
Wilmington and parents of Moyer Academy students are suing the state to keep the charter school open, saying it's the only general public high school in the city.

The lawsuit against the state Department of Education says Moyer should not be closed because more Wilmington high schoolers would be bussed out of the city for classes.

Moyer was set to close at the end of the school year.

The state Board of Education voted last month to revoke the school's charter, and Moyer was already on probation for poor academic performance and disciplinary issues.

Recent test scores showed just 10 percent of Moyer students were proficient in reading.

City officials say Moyer Academy itself is also suing the Delaware Department of Edcation.

Cabbie Complaints: Taxi drivers targeted by same cop repeatedly

By Amy Cherry 10:43pm, November 24, 2014
Monday, we told you about Wilmington taxi drivers who are facing stringent regulations. The cabbies also tell WDEL News they're being harassed by Wilmington police.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

Click here to listen

"I was arrested because he said I was a n*****, and I can't read English," said Rashid.

That's just one cabbie, who says he and others like Shahid have gotten several tickets from the same officer for going the bathroom and even standing outside their cabs while waiting for a fare in the taxi staging area on Rosa Parks Drive near the train station.

"He's giving us so hard time coming over here. Why are you standing outside using racial word? N*****, Arab, go back to your country,'" said Shahid. "One driver, he went to the bathroom, when he came back, he gave him a ticket. He said, 'Why?' He said, 'I don't have time for you n*****.'"

George from Ghana tells WDEL they're not trying to cause any trouble--just need to go the bathroom sometimes without losing their place in line.

"He calls us dumb, n******, and all that. And we're not here to cause any problem. We're here just to work, to take people to work back and forth," said George.

The cabbies say this particular cop makes their jobs more stressful...

"The last time he called back up, and they said, 'You can't reason with dumb people.' How are we dumb? Just being cab drivers?" asked George.

Khalid says they've collectively gotten dozens of tickets all from the same cop, sometimes twice in one day.

"The way like his language is really harassing like if you just to to explain, he's going to ask you to shut up, and if you don't shut up, he can arrest you,' Khalid said.

These cabbies would like to be able to park, at least for a few minutes, in the staging area, but what'd they like more is to be treated with dignity.

"We appreciate the fact that police are here to protect the public, but not to harass cab drivers. It doesn't mean because we are cab drivers we don't deserve respect," said Yamba.

WDEL has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out just how many tickets this cop has written. It's been three weeks, and the city has yet to comply.

Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings declined comment on the officer and his alleged behavior.

Police spokeswoman Andrea Janvier says internal affairs would investigate any substantiated complaints and commenting would go against internal policies.

George says that's not good enough.

"We need real, real help, and he always says, it's coming from above, what he's doing, so we want to know where actually, if it's coming from the mayor, if it's coming from his superior, we want to know," said George.

Snow will likely affect T'giving travel plans

By Chris Carl 12:48pm, November 25, 2014 - Updated 1:36pm, November 25, 2014
Courtesy of
The busiest travel day of the year is about to get even trickier.

AccuWeather's Dr. Joe Sobel says rain late tonight will change with - and mix to - snow
during before ending tomorrow evening.

"During the daylight hours tomorrow, we're looking at wet roads, but things could become slippery tomorrow evening and tomorrow night," Sobel says. "I think we're not likely here (in Wilmington) to get more than a coating to an inch of snow. At the shore, probably no accumulation."

Joe says the story could be much different for areas to our north and west.

"Keep in mind, if you're heading to western Maryland, northwest Virginia, south central Pennsylvania - York, Lebanon, up toward the Allentown area, there certainly could be six to seven inches of heavy, wet snow," Sobel says.

Plus, air travel could be a mess with cancellations and delays.

Keep it right here for continuing AccuWeather updates.

Statewide turkey giveaway visits Wilmington

By Tom Lehman 7:15pm, November 25, 2014 - Updated 7:26pm, November 25, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
An annual turkey giveaway turned 32 years old on Tuesday, as a former Wilmington Councilman and local volunteers dropped off turkeys for those in need across the state ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday.

Using a moving truck to haul the turkeys from various drop off sites, businessman Norman Oliver and volunteers visited all three counties to drop off more than 2,500 Thanksgiving meals to families across the state.

"We got the whole nine yards, Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, Kent and Sussex counties. It's been pretty cool to touch a lot of lives and I never imagined it would grow this big," Oliver said.

In Wilmington, volunteers from the Jefferson Awards Foundation, the Charter School of Wilmington Jefferson Council, the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and other organizations helped unload turkeys at public housing and senior homes.

Mayor Dennis Williams said the drive is important for those who may struggle financially during the holiday season.

"It means people haven't forgot about them. It means people care about them," Williams said.

Two people shot in Wilmington's Browntown neighborhood

By Tom Lehman 5:03pm, November 25, 2014 - Updated 5:12pm, November 25, 2014
Two Wilmington residents were shot Tuesday afternoon in the city's Browntown neighborhood, police said.

The shooting happened about 1:20 p.m. in the area of Maryland Avenue and Stroud Street, Sgt. Andrea Janvier said.

Police were called to the area after receiving a report of shots fired and officers found bullet casings at the intersection and in the area of Lower Oak and South Harrison Street, Janvier said.

While officers were at the scene, police were called to Wilmington Hospital because two gunshot victims had arrived there for treatment.

Janvier said both victims, an 18-year-old man and 22-year-old woman, arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle.

The man was shot in his lower back, while the woman was suffering from a gunshot wound to her upper left arm, police said.

No suspect information was available on Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the shooting can call the Wilmington Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 302-576-3620.

Wilmington Mayor to put a spotlight on crime

By Peter MacArthur 1:06pm, November 25, 2014
Mayor Dennis Williams is shedding some light on his city's crime problems...literally, with a new program called Light Up the Night.

"We are going to put every light on in the city of Wilmington, everything is going to be up and operating, and we're going to light up the night, because there have been studies done...when your street lights are on, one hundred percent, crime goes down and that's what we want to do," said Williams.

Williams says he is making sure that all street lights in the city are working properly under an executive order, without going through City Council, which he says he is entitled to do.

Settlement approved in Wilmington Trust lawsuit

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 12:33pm, November 25, 2014
A federal judge has given final approval to a $3 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by former Wilmington Trust employees who invested in a company-sponsored savings plan.

The judge approved the settlement after a hearing Monday in Wilmington.

The lawsuit accused Wilmington Trust officials of breaching their fiduciary duties to employees by allowing them to invest in company stock when bank leaders knew Wilmington Trust's financial position was disintegrating.

According to court filings, the settlement will cover more than 1,800 former Wilmington Trust employees.

Wilmington Trust was sold to M&T Bank in 2010 after its deteriorating commercial real estate loan portfolio left it on the verge of collapse. The bank's lending practices are the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation that has resulted in several indictments and guilty pleas.

Milford man wanted for attempted murder turns up dead

By Mark Fowser 6:17pm, November 25, 2014
A Milford man wanted on charges that included attempted murder is dead.

Milford Police say state police divers and personnel with the Department of Natural Resources found the body of 37-year-old Calvin King on the shore of the Appoquinimink River Tuesday afternoon more than 24 hours after police believe he jumped into the water to elude arrest.

Two women were stabbed early Monday at the Mispillion Apartments.

Police say King attacked the women, throwing one of them down a flight of stairs as she held a young child.

The women were still hospitalized at last check.

Smyrna man charged with raping teen

By Mark Fowser 6:13pm, November 25, 2014
A Smyrna man faces charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in August.

Smyrna Police say their investigation led to the arrest Monday of a suspect, who was known only by his nickname to the alleged victim.

Police arrested 24-year-old Marcus Owens, who they say was in possession of a semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number.

Owens is charged with one count of fourth-degree rape, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, and possession of a weapon with a removed or altered serial number.

He was arraigned and committed to the Vaughn Correctional Center on $17,000 bail.

Mazda recalls cars to fix tire pressure monitors

By Associated Press 12:20pm, November 25, 2014
Mazda is recalling nearly 100,000 midsize cars in the U.S. to fix a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system.

The recall affects certain Mazda6 cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

The company says in documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators that if the air pressure drops on all four tires at the same time, the monitoring system may not warn drivers of the problem. Low air pressure can cause a sudden tire failure.

Mazda says the problem hasn't caused any crashes or injuries. The recall affects only the U.S. and its territories.

Dealers will update the tire pressure monitoring software at no cost to owners.

Mazda will notify owners by letter. The recall is expected to start on Dec. 5.

Office manager pleads guilty to mail fraud

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 12:36pm, November 25, 2014
The former office manager of a medical practice in Dover has pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud charges.

According to a court filing Tuesday, a federal judge in Wilmington scheduled the sentencing of Pamela Poore for March 3.

Poore, who worked at Internal Medicine of Dover, waived indictment last week and pleaded guilty to a single count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Authorities say Poore, who was responsible for day-to-day accounting tasks and making cash deposits, misappropriated the medical firm's funds for her own use by writing unauthorized checks and failing to make cash deposits. As part of the plea agreement, she must pay more than $1 million in restitution.

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