Jury Convicts Former Wilmington Cop

The Delaware Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust announced Friday that a New Castle County jury has convicted James MacColl, formerly a corporal of the Wilmington Police Department, of felony false statement to law enforcement and official misconduct.

Officials said MacColl was charged in March 2021 for his actions in the aftermath of a police-involved shooting on February 2, 2019. MacColl responded to a 911 call reporting an armed carjacking, pursuing and ultimately shooting Yahim Harris, of Wilmington.  During an ensuing use of force investigation by the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust, DOJ investigators became aware of a ballistics analysis that revealed discrepancies between the bullets fired from MacColl’s service weapon and the barrel of his gun. At the time, MacColl, who had previously been the subject of a use of force investigation following the 2015 shooting of Jeremy McDole, denied changing the barrel on his weapon officials said.

The ballistics discrepancy did not affect DCRPT’s conclusion as to the legality of MacColl’s use of force, since it was undisputed that MacColl had fired his weapon at Harris. However, DCRPT disclosed the discrepancy in a public report issued in November 2019.

DOJ later learned of an interview in which MacColl admitted that he had switched the standard issue five-twist barrel on his service weapon with an aftermarket six-twist barrel in 2017. MacColl claimed that he had not changed his barrel when he shot Yahim Harris, but did not explain how the barrel of his weapon would have changed prior to its analysis according to officials. It was the first time that the DOJ became aware of any such admission.

Officials said MacColl’s total lack of candor during DOJ’s investigation forced prosecutors to drop then-pending charges against Harris for the alleged carjacking, as the State detailed in a memo filed in Superior Court on March 3, 2020.

The State indicted MacColl, who would have known from his prior involvement in the McDole use of force investigation that his firearm would be seized and would be produced in an official proceeding, on the basis that he knowingly and unlawfully attempted to conceal the use of an aftermarket barrel by swapping out his weapon’s barrel officials said Friday. MacColl’s alleged conduct not only misled investigators in the DOJ and in Wilmington Police Department but derailed and terminated the prosecution of an alleged violent crime said officials.

MacColl will be sentenced by a Superior Court judge at a date to be determined. His conviction was secured by DCRPT Director Mark Denney with support, assistance, and investigation from the staff of the Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust.