Local leaders in Richmond, Virginia were concerned about police misconduct during protests related to the death of George Floyd. Some officers deployed tear gas improperly and got into physical altercations with protesters.
Protests and police response ignite a larger discussion about policing in the city
The incident that sparked the discussion involved a group of officers who deployed tear has on protesters near the Robert E. Lee statute before the nightly curfew was in effect. Many demonstrators claimed that the issue of systemic racism in police departments is too important to be ignored, and they are willing to violate curfews and take more extreme actions if necessary. This has created a tense environment replicated in cities around the country, as conflicts between law enforcement and various groups have intensified. Some who were angered by the police response also called for the Mayor’s resignation, claiming that he is not handling the situation properly. He merely issued an apology to the crowds, but did not seem to have any kind of concrete plan for change.
Some members of the crowd had asked for specific information about the officers involved in the gassing, including badge numbers or other pieces of information that would make them easy to identify. One of the people present was the sister of a man who was killed by Richmond Police two years earlier during a mental health episode. This incident and others have prompted activists in the city to create plans for a non-violent response to mental health problems. The mayor did agree to create a review panel that would look into implementing such a system for emergency calls.
Critics said that the mayor’s lukewarm response to the massive ferocity and attendance of demonstrations has made relations between the public and police in the city worse. Many are concerned that he simply did not care enough, and a lack of decisive action will make these tensions last even longer. One local professor who was interviewed said that making real progress toward equality and social justice are the best ways to prevent rioting and widespread racial tensions.
How to get help after an incident of police brutality
If an officer has violated your rights with unnecessary violence and force, a false arrest, planted evidence, or other forms of misconduct, it is important to know that there are various remedies available through the civil law. The officer along with the department or city who is their employer can be sued for all of the victim’s losses. This can include medical treatment for injuries and other financial problems caused by the police mishandling the incident.
Speak with a local police brutality attorney
Lawyers who serve Richmond and other parts of Virginia can assist you with civil lawsuits against the local police and government. To get more information about this process, use the listings on USAttorneys.com.