The video from the recently released dash cam of WPD Officer Richard Matthews’s patrol car shows how quickly things happened two weeks ago when his vehicle spun out of control. This is real time video as Matthews sped up on Shipyard to assist fellow officers in a drug chase. The box he tried to avoid comes up very quickly. He pulled hard to the left to avoid it and ended up in the trees. There is also video from an officer who was following shortly behind Matthews. She encounters the box and then turns left where she sees Officer Matthews’s car in the trees. These tapes will be part of the case prosecutors are building against the suspects in the case. The WPD released them now in response to a lawsuit filed by the Star News. Police Chief Ralph Evangelous sent a memo to department staff, and to the media. It reads, in part: "The Wilmington Police Department has a proven record of complying with requests for public information. We have gone above and beyond what the law requires by making incident and accident reports available online. We routinely release detailed information on high-profile incidents, sometimes even before local news organizations are aware that the incidents have occurred." "Ideally, the members of this Police Department would have more time to reach closure and begin the healing process before being subjected to constant replaying of videotapes from the events of February 18th. But we are releasing the tapes today to end the pointless controversy." WWAY received seven DVDs from the WPD. We chose to air a small fraction of the video available to us that we felt helped tell the story of Officer Matthews's response, and the events that led to his tragic death.
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