make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Follow up on Officer Matthews' death

READ MORE: Follow up on Officer Matthews' death
officer300.jpg
Anthony Pierce was driving the vehicle police were chasing. He was in court Thursday. Matthew Hendy and Eric Smith were passengers. All three are charged with fleeing to elude arrest and possession and intent to sell marijuana. In court today, police asked to put protective custody on the evidence to possibly use in a future investigation into Matthews' crash. Ben David said since this incident involves a fellow law enforcement officer, his team needs to tread lightly. "This is an emotional time, these decisions cannot be made in an emotional way, we are going to look at the facts, and look at the law to see what we can do. And we are going to look closely with the Wilmington Police Department, and any state and federal agencies in doing that." Wilmington police are working with other agencies to re-create the accident in order to obtain proper evidence if they do decide to investigate further. This tragedy brings to light the risk police officers take daily to keep our streets safe. Police officers take an oath to serve and protect their community, and most stand by that to the end. "Responding in that selfless manner is what took his life,” said Captain George Hickman. In his short time with the WPD, Officer Richard Matthews lived up to the oath serve and protect, words Captain Bruce Hickman thinks of everyday. "I took an oath before I was even sworn in as an officer, and I took an oath to go after criminals." The death of Officer Matthews shook the Wilmington Police Department. This is the first time in 30 years, one of their officers was killed in the line of duty. Law enforcement agents are looking into the possibility Matthews’ death was related to the incident he was responding to. Captain Hickman thinks about what goes through his mind when responding to a call. "The thing that goes through my mind is, I want to get there as quickly as possible, but safely." It's not known exactly how fast Officer Matthews was driving at the time of the crash, but law enforcement officers point out they go through extensive driving training. Officer Matthews was wearing a seat belt.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Box

Why did the first officer not stop and pick up the box? Protect and serve, is to protect and serve the public. What if it had been a citizen that wrecked, to avoid the box, would we be hearing about it? Surely the first officer had the plate number from the car he was chasing. Was a marijuana charge more important that the safety of others? Public safety should always be the top priority. As far as the race card goes, as a white male here in Wilmington I have seen if first hand. There is some validity to the charge that black males are treated different that white males in this city by the police. But, there is one thing that I do know for sure, and that is, I don't know what it's like to be black, and to act like I do as many of you have, shows signs of ignorance.

police job

Yea, you have the license plate. That works fine as long as it isn't a stolen plate, the officer doesn't call it in wrong, the dispatcher doesn't finger flub or any number of other things that could go wrong. The officers were chasing suspects and don't have time to stop to clear debris. The main goal is to catch the criminals and public safety. They were protecting and serving. Are you out there stopping criminals? No, because the police are. Now go far far away.

The public would not have

The public would not have been driving a 100 miles per hour. People swerve to miss things in the road all the time when going 45 miles per hour. Think before you type.

Funeral for Officer Matthews

Visitation at Port City Community Church 250 Vision Drive, Wilmington, NC...Sunday February 21, 2009 at 5:00pm....His funeral will be Monday February 22,2009 at St. Marks Catholic Church, 110 Eastwood Road, Wilmington,NC. He will be be buried in Bethlehem, Pa according to Wilmington Police Dept.

murder or not?

We seem to be rehashing and rehashing the same things over and over. The way I see it the 3 should be charged. If they had pulled over for the police car lights this would not have happened, box or no box. The question is not whether this was an office responding to a call at a set location, this was an officer involved in a chase because the "suspects" would not pull over and stop. End of story. The "suspects" could have avoided this all happening by stopping and just being charged with the drug possession. Now I hope they are also charged with murder. If an officer is rushing to a stationary location to respond to the call, then the "suspects" have no control over the road conditions etc, but here they did and caused a death as a result. Like a previous person posted, I too am waiting for all kinds of comments telling "wonderful" things about the "suspects". Sorry - they lead the police on a chase for whatever reason and that in it's self makes them scum!

Anthony Pierce

First of all, Anthony is a good friend of mine. The situation at hand is that WPD always assumes that a black guy driving around with white guys are up to no good anyway. This is one of the reasons I moved to Atlanta. A land where if you want to go downtown, you can go into any clubs dressed the way you want. You don't have to pay to get in. Back to Wilmington....Everybody black knows that Wilmington isn't a place for young black men. The city is very racist, and I hate the fact that I grew up there. Anthony didn't get caught with any weed and if there was a box...Where is it? The WPD didn't have a right to kick his door in and pull guns on his family. Nothing found there either.....My synopsis.....Hmmmm...Maybe racial profiling was the reason the officer died, and not being so gunho about getting to the scene of the accident would have prolonged Matthews life. At the end of the day...Drop his bail, because you have nothing on him. He is one of my best friends and when he gets this bull behind him, he'll probably do what I told him to do...........GET AWAY FROM WILMINGTON! I love Atlanta Duane Witherspoon

Are you sure nothing was

Are you sure nothing was found in his house when the police raided it??? You might be surprised at what was found

No shock

No shock that one convicted felon is supporting another convicted felon. Wonder if wway will post this one. I think I may have been too harsh on poor duane in my other attempts.

Atlanta friend

I am guessing this is you, Duane Witherspoon, NCDOC#0636231, DOB: 6/3/1981. Nothing you have to offer to this conversation counts anymore..............

LOL

You know that had to sting. I am still having to wipe Diet Pepsi off screen from laughing!

No one cares if he's a good

No one cares if he's a good friend of yours or not, he was being chased by the police which leads one to believe that he must have had something to hide - NOT because he's black. If they would have pulled over instead of running from the police, this officer would still be alive.

Less than 24

TIME - Less than 24 hours for someone to pull the race card and defend a pot smoking, weed dealing criminal. I am SOOOO Sick of hearing about race in this town...it's people like you who make racial tension an issue. People like you and Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc... that keep racism alive!!!

YEP

Yes that is sooooo true!!!

SOOOO True

SOOOO True

Should they be charged?

I have read the comments of those who wonder if these young men should be charged....and I read one asking what if Officer Matthews was responding to a non-criminal related call...would that person then be charged with his death.... Think about this. Citizens get pulled over by police officers everyday...maybe they were breaking the by law speeding, or ran a red light...but when they see the blue lights, a normal human being pulls over. That's what you do...you're required to...by law. Common sense says you've already broken one law, don't make it worse by breaking another. These boys were eluding...evading...on purpose. They did not heed the blue lights, and they did not comply and pull over, so whatever law they were suspected of breaking in the first place was then compounded by another...except they weren't "suspected" of eluding or evading...they were in fact, doing just that. It was for that reason, not whatever they were suspected of having in their possession, that Officer Matthews was put in a perilous situation...both officers were. If they would have complied and pulled over as instructed, the likelihood of this incident happening would have been greatly diminished.

Expert views would be interesting

It would be nice if Ben David, Tom Goolsby, or someone else would comment on existing precedence on similar cases. Finding out what charges can apply in various situations would be interesting. 1) Suspects merely running from/evading police capture. 2) Material from the suspect's vehicle falls out of their vehicle accidently, causing an accident. 3) Material intentionally thrown out of the vehicle with the intent to impede the chasing police officers (a box with unknown contents would be most likely used to cause a following vehicle to slow down, swerve, or cause the following police vehicles to stop. 4) Material intentionally thrown out to injure or harm the following police vehicle adn/or officers. Lots of sharp objects, explosives, etc. Each of these cases would, logically (and note that the law isn't logical), involve differing charges. Andrew

Someone was Lucky

I am very saden by the loss of this young officer, I know he was doing his job. But crossing over to the next road, someone was lucky they were not passing at that time.

Now taking bets

Anybody want to bet on how long it takes before people start posting on what "great guys" these criminals are? pierce is a convicted felon, hendy & smith both have previous drug convections. I'm sure other slime balls will come to their defense quickly. They all should be charged with the death of Officer Matthews.

Death of an Officer

I read he crossed the median (sp) as he was responding to the call,can these felons be charged for this? What if he had responded to a back up call to assist another officer in another case not 'criminal' related and it was you? You would not think it would be fair for you to be charged, you didn't tell him to respond?? Not taking their sides btw...Glad they are off the street.... My heart goes out the officer's family and his Police family.

Not their fault....

What would they be charged with?? They didn't cause the officer to swerve into a tree. He made a error in his driving. It is very sad that the young man lost his life, but to charge the 3 with his death is just ridiculous. Granted, they shouldn't be driving around with pot in their car, but possession of marijuana shouldn't equal killing an officer. They didn't swerve at his car and force him off the road. My prayers are with his family in their time of grief.

Not Their Fault??

Not their fault? Had they not been doing what they were doing the scenario would never have taken place....Your predictable response, Bisco Kid, makes me furious! I pray that, if we're ever unfortunate enough that you procreate, your child doesn't end up like this fine officer. Crime is Crime.....PERIOD!!!!

alleged the box was thrown

It is alleged that there was a box thrown out of the car and Officer Matthews had to swerve to avoid hitting it. That led to him crossing the median and wrecking.

Until we hear the whole

Until we hear the whole story we all can just assume, and we DO know what happens when we assume???? If in fact that package hit him and he had to swerve to miss it...CHARGE THEM

It depends on how much pot they had

If they were in possession of an amount sufficient to constitute a felony, they could be charged with murder under the "felony murder" rule. That basically says that if you are committing a felony and someone dies, directly or indirectly as a result of your actions, you can be charged with murder.

FIRST

I stand behind the police officers. NOW, if it was a box the individuals being pursued threw out and he swerved to miss it...meaning they CAUSED the accident by putting something in the roadway...CHARGE THEM WITH MURDER. HOWEVER, if the officers was simply responding to a call and lost control of his own vehicle by his own actions...no charges should be brought. Officers are ABSOLUTELY FULLY responsible for safe driving in EVERY situation. Just because you run red or blue lights doesn't give you full control of the road...you HAVE to obey road rules, stop at red lights, stop signs and follow the laws of the road in every way or you are responsible for any accident you might be involved in. I am all for getting little DIRT BAGS off the street...but unless they littered the roadway and caused the accident...they shouldn't be held accountable for this...I'D LOVE for them to be...but it doesn't make sense.

2 wrongs don't make a right

The officer was responding to do what was necessary. He responded as he was trained and we should all appreciate that. I think the WPD is the finest group of officers anywhere. I will back them to the end. Even if a fault is found on the part of the officer....who is the first one to not have made a mistake. Wake up people, life goes on. Learn from what has happened. Be sure that your wrongs will find you out. Lets focus on doing it the right way and strive to do better. This officer has run his race and he is a winner. I am praying for the family and friends of this officer. Have a blessed day.

The Truth Hurts

This case is very simple. The law that Police Officers enforce states you are to pull over and STOP if a POlice Officer is running his blue lights and siren. These criminals failed to do so and attempted to elude Police Officers. Any action on their part as a result of failing to heed to a legal stop that results in injury to Law Enforcement Officers makes them responsible. If they threw a box out in an attempt to wreck pursuing police then their actions resulted in his death and they are held responsible. Now as far as the fight at Williston this is another example of how violence is the prevailing factor in the black community. The Attorney General states race relations are dead in this country. Well if blacks would stop killing and robbing each other, get an education and quit relying on the government for their subsistence then race relations would improve. Also the race baters, Sharpton and Jackson entice the black community to over react when anything they perceive as prejudice occurs. This provides them with the funds and money to continue their rants which in the white community is send as completely ridiculous.