Richmond, VA - On Tuesday, November 14th, about 50 community members gathered at Richmond Public Library Main Branch in support of the police accountability campaign. The community is calling for a city-wide Civilian Review Board with subpoena power to investigate violations of the police code of conduct and to build trust and transparency between the community and law enforcement.
Members from the Legal Aid Justice Center presented data on Richmond Police Department’s (RPD) policing practices. Multiple community members shared personal stories of Richmond Police Department misconduct; particularly instances of harassment, racial profiling, and discrimination.
“Recently, I was pulled over because my 3rd brake light was out,” said Todd Adams of Richmond. “A routine traffic stop resulted in my friend, myself, and my entire car being searched for drugs, guns, and alcohol. Needless to say, they found nothing. These practices of harassment without cause have diminished trust between the police and the community it is sworn to protect.”
Complaints against RPD are investigated by an Internal Review Board- creating a culture of “self-policing” that lacks transparency and credibility. Heavily policed communities, communities of color, low-income communities, and the LGBTQ community, are calling for a fair standard of accountability to bring attention - and an end - to individual and systemic police abuses that harm our communities.
“We need better police accountability in Richmond,” said As-saddique Abdul-Rahman, Community Organizer for New Virginia Majority. “Richmond residents, particularly in poor Black communities, share similar stories of discrimination at the hands of law enforcement sworn to serve and protect all and it’s up to the community to address it.”
New Virginia Majority will continue to hold meetings throughout the community to raise awareness and support for increased police accountability.
New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization, and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic, and environmentally sustainable.