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“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. . . . There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” -The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On June 9th in Camden, in the midst of two straight weeks of protests, twenty-two people were arrested. My staff has reviewed all available evidence, including several videos, scene photos, 911 recordings, dispatch records and police reports. DOJ is publicizing all of the videos that we reviewed.  Our review revealed several facts:
In the two weeks since those arrests, our state has plowed forward in ways that make me proud. Peaceful protests have continued, all over the state, showcasing civil disobedience. Many protesters are turning passion into advocacy for reform in the halls of government. Police have accommodated the protests while keeping the public safe—I am unaware of any arrests or physical harm since June 9th. The notable exception was when two law enforcement memorials to fallen officers were defaced. As I have said, these acts are reprehensible and the perpetrators will be prosecuted.
Police Departments up and down our state—including Dover Police—have taken unprecedented action to increase transparency. Our Governor used his executive powers to bring important reforms to the Delaware State Police. And the General Assembly is moving reform bills as we speak.
My leadership team and I spent several hours in meetings with Dover/Camden protesters, the police, and community advocates. We discussed the disparate role of race that pervades America—no more or less with prosecutors and police than in all corners of our society. We heard compassion and empathy for the community. But what struck me was their overlapping message: everyone—protesters and police—wants the same things. Equal treatment under the law. A decent life for their families. A fair chance at the American Dream.
Our review of the evidence, as well as what we learned in our meetings, made clear that neither a prosecution of these protesters, nor an investigation into the police—both of which have been demanded, with equal volume—would serve a good purpose. I may be demonized equally by those who push criminal convictions against protesters who were aggressive but non-violent, or against police who made arrests. Perhaps this is as good a sign as any that we must put June 9th behind us and find common ground.
In communicating my decision to the protesters and Dover Police, all parties committed to continued dialogue with each other. That is how we make progress. As Dr. King observed, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
We, as a state, are now engaging in these difficult exercises. I’m hopeful about where we are heading, and I remain committed to effectuating that progress.
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Citizen Video 01 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.
Citizen Video 02 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.
Citizen Video 03 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.
Citizen Video 04 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.
Citizen Video 05 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.
Drone Video 01 – Citizen footage recorded at June 9, 2020 protests south of Dover.