RPD Chief: “We’re going to let the process be the process,” detectives facing charges related to civil unrest appear in court


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two Richmond Police Department detectives appeared before a judge Wednesday morning after being indicted in connection to this summer’s civil unrest.

Monday evening, detectives Mark Janowski and Christopher Brown were each indicted with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery, according to Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin.

The detectives were charged for their involvement in an incident the morning of May 31, the city’s police department said.

The Richmond police public affairs unit told 8News in an email “the incident occurred at approximately 5:24 a.m. on May 31 in the 200 block of West Broad Street.”

In court, defense attorney Jason Anthony, who represents Christopher Brown, indicated that there was a video of the incident.

Both cases were moved to the November docket and will be heard by a grand jury on the first Monday in November.

These are only two out of 8 officers who had a total of 18 indictments presented against them.

At a press conference earlier this morning, RPD Chief Gerald Smith had the following to say about the two officers:

We’re moving forward and we’re going to let the process be the process. I know that as Chief of Police my words can carry a little bit of heavier weight and I don’t want to say anything that will interfere with that process moving forward. I do not want a jury to be seated and they say ‘well the Chief said this’ we could actually interfere with that. I think everyone in that process deserves a fair trial and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to sit back and we’re going to let the verdict be the verdict and the disposition be the disposition and then move on from there. Right now, I don’t want to say anything that would hinder that process at all.”

Chief Gerald Smith

When a member of 8News’ team asked Mayor Levar Stoney about Chief Smith’s comments regarding the natural course of law taking place, and if he agrees with his chief that these officers should be charged, Stoney said:

“This is all a process. There’s a process for accountability. We are getting that right now with those two, who may have acted outside of their conduct.”

Stoney added he doesn’t know the “full scale” of the incidents the officers are being charged with, but appreciates the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s work towards accountability.

“I think good police departments are those that appreciate accountability and also transparency at the same time — and that is what we’re working towards,” Stoney said.

Stay with 8News for the latest on this trial.


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