Attorney General’s Office not investigating Slaughter Neck traffic stop

Video shows officer drawing gun on driver
February 22, 2019

The Attorney General’s Office says it is not investigating a Feb. 14 traffic stop in which a video shows an officer pointing a gun at the driver.

“At this time, the facts of the case involving the state trooper do not require our involvement,” said Carl Kanefsky, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

If further developments suggest that the rights and liberties of this individual were unlawfully infringed upon, Kanefsky said the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust, which is part of Delaware’s Attorney General’s Office, will become involved.

Delaware State Police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident that has gone viral on social media.

“The Delaware State Police are aware of a video that was posted to social media of a traffic stop involving a motorist and a state trooper,” said Sgt. Richard Bratz of the Delaware State Police. “The Delaware State Police initiated an internal investigation as soon as we became aware of the incident as per divisional policy. This review is part of an internal process to ensure that we are in compliance with divisional policy and that we are also performing our duties at the level of professionalism that is expected by the citizens that we serve.”

Bratz declined to identify the officer, and it is uncertain whether the officer is on paid leave. He said the trooper was on patrol about 9 a.m. in the area of Fleatown Road and Cubbage Pond Road in a fully marked patrol vehicle when he saw a silver Mazda pass in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed.

The video shows Mack Buckley, 40, of Lincoln setting his cellphone camera on the vehicle dashboard as an officer walks up to the driver's side window. 

When the officer returns, the video shows, he asks Buckley to get out of the car, and Buckley refuses. The officer then opens the door, draws and points his gun at Buckley's chest while Buckley continues refusing to get out of the car. Both men raise their voices with Buckley asking why the officer is pulling a gun on him.

Bratz has not responded to questions about police policy and whether the trooper was acting in accordance with policy.

Bratz said Buckley was arrested and taken to Troop 7 where he was charged with resisting arrest, driving with no insurance, driving an unregistered vehicle and speeding.

Buckley was released on $1,100 unsecured bond pending a court appearance March 18 in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to reflect information provided by the Delaware State Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the posted cellphone video.


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter