From Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor:
Shannon Taylor Announces a Police Integrity and Compliance Position in the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
~ Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will hire new Deputy CA for Police Integrity ~
HENRICO, Va. – Today, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor announced a ground-breaking position within her office for Police Integrity and Compliance. This position will be staffed by a new Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in this area.
Ms. Taylor said, “I have been horrified seeing example after example of police excess and violence in the news every day. Although I am pleased that Henrico police patrol officers wear body-worn cameras and that we make every effort to view this footage, I have determined this is insufficient. My responsibility as Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney is to keep citizens safe, and this is an important part of that.
“I recognize police have a role to play in public safety but they must, simply must, do that in a lawful, respectful manner, without regard to the race, sex, age or immigration status of anyone involved.
“To ensure the public has a readily available mechanism to report concerns, I am also initiating the “CitizenCA@henrico.us” email account. I would encourage the public to contact us when they believe they have had an illegal encounter with police. The new attorney I am hiring will be staffing that hotline and acting on community concerns. They will also be going out into the community to hear of issues.
“Moreover, I am encouraging defense attorneys to be forthcoming in reporting inappropriate police interactions with their clients.
“Concerns that are brought forward will be thoroughly investigated and will be public information.
“Moreover, I want to initiate the process of instituting a strong civilian review board whose first point of contact with my office will be the new deputy. They will work closely with the board, as established, to ensure legitimate grievances are addressed. The board will have direct access to and can work closely with this lawyer.
“This new position in my office will ensure that Henricoans can feel confident that if any encounters with police seem wrong and not lawful, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will intervene.
“As far as I know, ours is the first office to create this specific position, but I believe it is critical and I hope other offices will consider it. This is just one of several reforms I will be instituting, such as advocating for a civilian review board, to create fairer, more equitable policy. No one should have to fear the police because of the color of their skin or other characteristics. That will not be tolerated here and will be dealt with swiftly and justly,” Ms. Taylor concluded.