Usually when there are accusations of excessive force, it’s the victim’s word against the officers’, and we know who usually wins. But when others are around to sound the alarm, such accusations get far more attention. One man’s struggle with Richmond and RRHA police is providing a perfect example.
According to NBC12.com, officers responded to a drug complaint on St. John Street and encountered 22-year old Dominique Redd. For whatever reason, they tried to take Redd into custody. Witnesses say that’s when things went bad.
“They (police) was trying to handcuff him, and he yanked away. And that’s when (police) knocked him on the ground. Then they hand cuffed him….That’s when the bald headed officer…He punched him in his face…in his rib cage on his side,” described one neighbor and witness.
That particular witness goes on to say the police had Redd around the neck with his face in the ground when he began having a seizure.
Multiple witnesses say Redd twitching and seizing before the ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital.
Redd’s mother says he has never suffered a seizure before in his life and blames the roughing up by police for her son’s medical emergency.
At least one cell phone caught the entire incident, down to the screaming by bystanders when Redd started shaking.
“I just want some answers,” said Redd’s mother who hasn’t been able to speak with her son who is still hospitalized. “I’m hurt. I’m frustrated. I just want to see my son and hear him speak again, and head his side of the story.”
Redd is charged with a drug offense, resisting arrest, and trespassing.
Cell phone cameras have become an indispensable tool in recent years. When used to document police behavior, they’ve become the ultimate fact finder—vindicating suspects and officers alike depending on the situation at hand.
They have also become a topic of dispute, however, as officers aren’t likely to enjoy having their actions caught on camera and potentially shared online or with officials. In Virginia and elsewhere, recording devices have been illegally confiscated and their owners arrested for often bogus offense like “interfering with the administration of justice” or “disorderly conduct”.
Whether you were arrested by officers who were unnecessarily rough or if you were charged with an offense you believe is unjust, we may be able to help. From drug offenses to violent crimes, you have rights.