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Delaware NAACP calls for outside investigation after state troopers fatally shoot man in New Castle

Delaware NAACP demands transparency after state troopers fatally shot man
Delaware NAACP demands transparency after state troopers fatally shot man 02:23

NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) -- The attorney for the family of 28-year-old Tremaine Jackson and the Delaware NAACP are calling for an outside investigation into the fatal Delaware State Police shooting last week.

Coby Owens, an attorney with the Delaware NAACP State Conference of Branches, said at a news conference Wednesday that they want any video of the incident, including body-cam footage, released to the family and attorneys and for the troopers to be "investigated and be held accountable for their actions."

Owens also said they want a federal "pattern-or-practice" investigation into state police, as well as U.S. Attorney David Weiss and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to open up an investigation. Attorneys are concerned a state police-led investigation will be a conflict of interest. 

A letter has been sent to Weiss, Garland, Delaware Gov. John Carney and state Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Owens said.

Jackson was shot and killed last Thursday by two troopers after he was accused of shoplifting at the hardware store. According to state police, the troopers allegedly saw Jackson leaving the store with a shopping cart full of items.

State police say as Jackson allegedly resisted arrest and drove away, a trooper got pinned between a guardrail and Jackson's driver's side door.

Police say Jackson refused to stop and two troopers opened fire on him, fearing for their safety. 

Jackson was rushed to an area hospital, where he later died.

But Jackson's family and NAACP question the accuracy of that narrative.

"It looks like it was the state trooper's car that came to the side and pinned him against a rail. That's just my view of it," Owens said. 

"There was a place where they took him at and there was no witness or nothing. Now it's their word between his word, and he cannot speak up now because he's dead," Richard Smith, the president of the Delaware NAACP, said.

According to state police, Jackson was under investigation for several crimes since July 2022.

Island Clark, the ex-girlfriend of Jackson, mourned his death on Wednesday during the news conference.  

"Like, why?" Clark said. 

"I just want justice for him, and I just want answers," she added.

Clark's 5, 6 and 7-year-old sons now have to grow up without their father. 

 "I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm sad, I'm frustrated, I'm furious, I'm mad at the world, I'm mad at myself. I don't know how to feel," Clark said.

The two troopers have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, state police said.

In a statement, Delaware State Police would not commit to releasing the video. 

The agency is asking for patience, saying the facts will be released once the investigation is complete. 

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