Justen Wright

Candidate for Mayor

Responses to Wilmington Police Reform Survey

Will you vote to make all police disciplinary records public, and push for changes in state law necessary to make that possible?

Yes. Police records should be made public the same way a private citizen’s record is public. There shouldn’t be a double standard. Allowing police records to be public also allows for increased transparency. 

Will you vote for an ordinance prohibiting Wilmington police from engaging in civil asset forfeiture?

I don’t believe in confiscating a citizen’s property without just cause or factual impropriety. 

Will you vote for Wilmington police to collect and publish data, including by race, on all pedestrian and traffic stops they conduct, including the reason for the stop?

Yes. Collecting and publishing data from traffic stops will lead to increased transparency and accountability, as well as serve as a catalyst for building trust and reduce potential discriminatory acts by police officers. 

Will you vote in favor of periodic psychological evaluations of Wilmington police officers? Will you vote for funds to mental health support for officers?

Mental health is a relevant issue impacting people of all ages, races, gender and professions. As police officers routinely work in highly intense, stressful, and traumatic environments; their mental health is critically important. I would still need to conduct further research to determine the potential for implementing psychological evaluations within the Wilmington Police Department. 

Will you vote for issuing all Wilmington Police officers body cameras?

Yes. The implementation of body cameras will allow for greater transparency and accountability between the police and the communities they serve. 

Since police officers are public servants, do you believe footage from arrest and police misconduct should be made public record?


If elected would you create and/or vote yes on an ordinance to end “no knock warrants”?

Yes. The tragic death of Breonna Taylor is the potential effect of police recklessly using no knock warrants. Police must ensure the safety of every person on the premises before attempting to arrest a suspect. 

Will you vote in favor of ending Operation Safe Streets, which utilizes aggressive policing tactics to harass Wilmington families and community members?


Will you vote in favor of a community review board that has the power to investigate incidents and complaints, audit policy compliance, has hiring and firing authority, and make records and hearings public to the greatest extent possible?

Yes. In order to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community, I would create a Criminal Justice Advisory Committee. This  committee would consist of judges, elected leaders, and officials representing  local and state agencies.  The mission of the body would be to increase transparency and accountability of law enforcement as they review  police and court processes, in addition to oversight of treatment programs. The Criminal Justice Advisory Committee would also study juvenile and criminal systems to evaluate or identify areas for improvement and offer policies to improve the processes.

Will you require and fund Wilmington Police to operate a pre-arrest diversion program for people with substance abuse issues (a model similar to New Castle County’s Hero Help)?


Communities of color in Wilmington have borne the brunt of aggressive policing and war on crime policies for decades. Those communities also bear the scars of decades of discrimination in housing, education, and access to economic opportunity. What will you do as a Council member, Mayor, or treasurer to repair that harm?

In order to restore confidence in Wilmington’s law enforcement officials, I would implement a multi-faceted approach that focuses on two key pillars: 

* Increasing Community Engagement Initiatives with community and faith-based organizations

* Launching a Neighborhood Coordination Officers Patrol Program – Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) would work day in and day out–to increase police and community connectivity. These officers would be embedded within the neighborhood to build connections with residents, help address local concerns, and keep the community safe