City of Richmond paid nearly a quarter of a million dollars for police department review after 2020 unrest

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Hall paid nearly a quarter of one million dollars for an independent review of the police department, and potential misconduct when officers responded to months of protests, and riots last summer.

A $219,000 payment was approved for Arlington-based The CNA Corporation according to a purchase order dated July 22, 2020–8News obtained this and other documents related to the review through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The review is said to focus on the police department’s ‘use of force’ policy, and tear gas, as well as deescalation and implicit bias training.

Demonstrators and police sparred almost nightly for several weeks following the death of George Floyd; most events included peaceful protests but also produced riots, property damage and looting.

At the same time, the deployment of tear gas, questions surrounding declarations of unlawful assembly and alleged misconduct caught up in a grand jury probe came to light.

Two officers face misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly pepper spraying three females who were stopped in traffic at an intersection following a night of civil unrest in the city last May.

After tear gas was deployed on a crowd of peaceful protestors at the Robert E. Lee monument in June, a lawsuit was filed, arguing police violated demonstrators’ first amendment rights.

The invoice for the city’s contract with CNA is billed to the Richmond Police Department’s address on West Grace Street, though documents detail the contract was awarded via a modified agreement with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

8News has not yet received response from the city on what this original contract was awarded for, which is dated 2015. At this time, it is unknown when the report will be presented to the Richmond Police Department, 8News has reached out to CNA for a timeline.

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