Alexandria police officer’s use of force “unjustified,” investigation determines

Virginia

The white police officer used "weaponless" force against another white man, the city said.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — An officer with the Alexandria Police Department will be fired for unjustified use of force against a person. A weapon was not used in the incident.

“Use of force is dehumanizing and should be avoided whenever possible, even when legally justified,” Chief of Police Michael Brown said in a press release sent Friday. “Unjustified use of force is completely unacceptable, and we will continue to hold officers accountable in the rare cases when violations of this policy occur.”

The City of Alexandria said the white officer used “weaponless force” against another white man to take him to the ground. An investigation determined the use of force to the man’s leg was not necessary. The city said three supervisors failed to investigate the incident promptly, and they have been disciplined.

The police department is also referring the use of force case to the Commonwealth’s Attorney to see if criminal charges are warranted against the officer, who was not identified in the press release.

The city said this is the first time since 2017 that an officer’s use of force was determined to be unjustified. In the press release, the city said the following regarding race and use of force:

The races and ethnicities of the subjects of force in 2019 and 2020 were generally proportionate to those of all persons taken into custody, except that use of force against white non-Hispanic subjects was disproportionately high, and use of force against white Hispanic subjects was disproportionately low. Black subjects comprised 50% of individuals taken into custody and 51% of subjects of force. 

City of Alexandria on June 26, 2020

Alexandria police officers reportedly used force against 37 people in 2019 and 2020, the city said.

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