WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several recent incidents involving Wilmington Police have wound up under state investigation. That’s prompted some to say officers are not doing their jobs to serve and protect.
Sonya Patrick, New Hanover County’s representative to the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus, and former Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren say the police department is out of control and Chief Ralph Evangelous is to blame.
“There have been too many incidents that call for investigations, and the last video is just inexcusable,” Patrick said of a WPD K-9 officer brought before a grand jury for his use of his dog at the end of a police chase.
“The community is not even safe with the way that the officers are responding, and especially that last incident with the police lifting the dog up, putting him in the car when the guy is sitting there with both his hands up,” Warren said.
Even though state investigations have cleared several officers in recent shootings and a grand jury decided not to indict the officer involved in the dog bite incident, Patrick says the use of excessive force needs to end along with Chief Evangelous’s job at WPD.
“These are investigations that have already taken place. They came back with the results. Now we’re asking for his resignation because this has to stop, and it’s not stopping. It’s just getting worse,” she said.
This afternoon Evangelous responded to the criticism in a statement.
“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,” 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.”
In his statement Chief Evangelous says he recently met with community leaders to provide information on the use-of-force investigations. Neither Patrick nor Warren were on the list of those who have met with the chief.