Police review use of force at Shamrock the Block

A YouTube video has prompted a review after Police used force while making arrests.

The Richmond Police Department has started reviewing the use of force by officers during this past Saturday’s Shamrock the Block festival after video of the incident was uploaded to YouTube.

“Though I cannot comment on the specifics of this incident, the public should rest assured that our officers are well-trained and that all use of force incidents are reviewed by Department supervisors to ensure the officers acted appropriately,” Major Scott Booth said in a statement released this afternoon.

Five misdemeanor arrests were made during the entirety of Shamrock the Block, four of which were connected to the incident captured in the video.

In a phone interview with RVANews, Maj. Booth said, “Whenever force is used…it goes through several layers of supervisory oversight.” In this instance, he said the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, as well as Internal Affairs, will review the matter.

Among items being reviewed are the actions of individual officers, whether policies and procedures were properly followed, and if enough officers were assigned to work Shamrock the Block, which drew roughly 30,000 people last year (Booth said 17 officers patrolled this year’s event).

Booth said that the officers involved remain on regular duty.

“We can’t pass judgement on the officers” based solely on what’s in the video, Booth said. “Several fights had broken out” before the video was taken, he said, an aspect that may have influenced how the officers responded.

But he affirmed that the Department wants to ensure “our officers are acting appropriately.”

It’s unknown when the review will be completed.

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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