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Richmond Prosecutor Will Name Officers Indicted for Excessive Force

Police car
A photo of police in Richmond in 2012. (Photo: Edward Kimmel/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The names of Richmond Police officers who are indicted for abuse of authority or excessive force will now be released to the public. Richmond’s top prosecutor announced the new policy Friday. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin stressed that her office does not release the names of police officers who are the mere subject of a criminal investigation. But she said, moving forward, she will release an officer’s name if a Richmond grand jury recommends charges against them. 

“The Richmond community wants to be assured that law enforcement officers do not receive special treatment,” McEachin said. “And that our office and the criminal justice system will treat non-officers and officers equally.”

McEachin says, since 2016, the Richmond Police Department has asked her office to review the actions of 53 officers.  A grand jury returned indictments in two of those cases. One was dismissed in June when the complainant didn’t show up to court. McEachin said a trial is set for August in the second case. 

That officer’s name will not be released to the public, however, because the new policy only applies to new cases moving forward. 

McEachin says the new policy is an effort to ensure transparency and accountability.

“Some members of the Richmond community believe that a badge acts sometimes as a shield sometimes against equal justice under the law,” she said. “This idea undermines the credibility and legitimacy of our justice system.”

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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