AP NEWS

Charges to be dropped for Delaware teen shot by police

March 4, 2020 GMT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Prosecutors said charges would be dropped against a Delaware teenager who was shot by a police officer because of discrepancies from the officer regarding his service weapon.

Court documents filed Tuesday stated that Wilmington police Cpl. James MacColl contradicted himself about whether he switched the gun barrel of his service weapon to an aftermarket barrel, The News Journal of Wilmington reported.

Yahim Harris, then 18, was shot by MacColl during a carjacking investigation last year. MacColl was cleared of any wrongdoing in November, after Delaware’s attorney general said the officer was neither reckless nor negligent in the shooting.

Prosecutors said MacColl initially admitted to switching to an aftermarket barrel in 2017, without the police department’s permission, the newspaper reported. MacColl later said he had not switched the barrel back again after the shooting involving Harris, according to prosecutors.

Deputy attorney general Timothy Maguire now says carjacking and weapons charges against Harris were being dropped because prosecutors wouldn’t be able to prove the case without calling MacColl as a witness.

“We cannot and will not present a witness with such a clear lack of credibility,” Maguire said.

The state Department of Justice said it would reopen its investigation into MacColl’s conduct, according to the News Journal.

Wilmington police spokesman David Karas declined to comment on Tuesday’s court filings.

Harris was being held on a $100,000 bail while awaiting trial. It was unclear when he might be released.