The ACLU of Delaware recently filed a suit against the City of Wilmington and several city police officers on behalf of a Wilmington man who was the victim of excessive police force. Mr. Matthew Dixon is charging that police followed him home, approached him while he was still inside his car, then removed, handcuffed, and forcefully flung him to the ground before tasing and kicking him in front of his horrified wife and teenage daughters.

“The quick escalation of this situation is alarming and the force used by the police officers must be considered excessive for a routine traffic stop, especially considering Mr. Dixon was not resistant,” said ACLU-DE executive director Kathleen MacRae.

If the City had properly trained their officers, this situation could have been avoided. The suit asks the court to award fair compensation to the Dixons for their injuries and losses, and to ensure that appropriate police training and practices are instituted to prevent further mistreatment of Wilmington residents. For more information about the Dixon case, please see this article in the News Journal.

In the last three years alone, Wilmington police have been accused of using excessive force with tasers at least four times. In one of those Effective policing is based on a level of trust between officers and the public they serve. It is hoped that pursuing reform through the case of Mr. and Mrs. Dixon will help the Wilmington Police Department begin to rebuild the relationship between the force and the community needed for optimum public safety.