Follow up on Officer Matthews’ death
District Attorney Ben David said there’s a possibility the box Officer Matthews swerved to avoid, had been tossed from the suspect’s car.
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.
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