"Instant admission of guilt": Dempsey Walters bodycam footage sparks outrage as Delaware trooper is suspended
A Delaware State Trooper, Dempsey Walters, was suspended after physically assaulting a 15-year-old boy and fracturing his eye socket over a doorbell prank. According to court documents, Dempsey Walters, 29, is accused of attacking two teenage boys last month after one of them kicked the door of his home over a ding-dong ditch prank in Lancaster Village, in Elsmere.
Walters has been charged with deprivation of civil rights, several counts of assault, and two counts of official misconduct. The charges stemmed from multiple incidents last month, including when he tried to turn off the body cam video before punching the teenage boy over a doorbell prank.
However, despite the trooper’s attempt to turn off the camera, the incident was caught on video. The footage circulating online has drawn criticism from social media users, including a netizen who opined:
“If you ask me, if the officer turns off their body cam it's an instant admission of guilt.”
Charges against Delaware State Trooper Dempsey Walters explored
The Delaware State Attorney General's office issued an indictment against Delaware State Trooper Dempsey Walters over a violent incident that occurred in August 2023, where he was caught on video violating a teen’s civil rights.
According to court documents, on August 17, Walters was involved in a verbal altercation with a 17-year-old near his residence. At the time, Walters called law enforcement officers, who managed to de-escalate the situation before escorting the teen home. However, the next day, Walters reportedly used police equipment to look up the teen’s address on a law enforcement database.
A few days later, on August 21, a 15-year-old boy, in an attempt to play a prank, kicked the front door of Walters' home. Shortly after, Walters' girlfriend called him and gave him a description of the person she saw at the door.
As Walters, who was on duty, searched for teens in his neighborhood, he called officers from Newport, who responded to assist. Shortly after, they went to the home of the 17-year-old, who was involved in a verbal altercation with Walters on August 17.
Authorities said that, upon arrival, Walters confronted the boy and forced him on the ground while injuring him at the scene, though the teen was not responsible for the prank. Shortly after, Walters received a call stating that other officers had found the 15-year-old who played the juvenile prank.
The District Attorney's office said he drove to that location, and upon arrival, body cam video captured Walters dropping his knee into the back of the child's head and neck.
Moments later, Walters tried to turn off the body cam video, which inadvertently captured him walking to the back of the vehicle and striking the boy in the face, fracturing his eye socket.
Netizens react to Dempsey Walters bodycam footage
The incident has sparked outrage among netizens, with several expressing concerns over the cop’s audacity as he was seen blatantly ignoring police procedure.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings, in a statement, said that she was stunned at Walters' conduct as an officer appointed to uphold the law.
“As a mother and grandmother, the footage in this case is hard to watch. As a prosecutor, the constitutional violations are stunning,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings, in a statement.
NBC reported Dempsey Walters, who turned himself in on Tuesday, September 26, was released after he posted $29,000 bail and pleaded not guilty.