Richmond Police "rethinking" Shockoe Bottom security strategy - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Richmond Police "rethinking" Shockoe Bottom security strategy after club shooting

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A recent club shooting in Shockoe Bottom has Richmond Police 'rethinking' their strategy for downtown security.

We told you about the arrest of David Batts, Jr. in connection to that shooting at The Canal Club in late February.

Club Promoters are now speaking out for the first time about plans to improve security.

"It was sheer chaos," said Major Scott Booth about the shooting at The Canal Club on February 18th. "People were running outside the club. Officers were running in."

David Batts Jr., 25, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a felony, in connection with a shooting that occurred inside the Canal Club around 1 a.m. on Feb. 18. The focus has now turned to safety in Richmond's popular Shockoe Bottom.

"What it does is it really makes us kind of rethink our strategy," said Major Booth. "It also impacts not just the crime, but the public perception."

Police are determined not to allow live music events to set a bad note for Shockoe Bottom. They say crime has decreased 17 percent, and that was before the Canal Club Sunday events.

"So this was our first time ever having a big problem like this," said event promoter Jahmar Simpson. "It's our first and last time we have a problem like that."

Promoters are now talking tough even as they admit security was lacking.

"Security does not play around anymore at all," said Simpson. "At every door to get inside the place there is a cop. We have five off duty cops at all times."

Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association President David Napier contacted the ABC Board about the club in an attempt to send a strong message.

"Are you pleased with what you're hearing from this group now?" we asked Napier.

"Yes," replied Napier. "We weren't trying to shut them down. We were trying to get them to run their business in a proper manor for the neighborhood. I'm very pleased."

The show goes on this weekend. Promoters are counting their blessings.

"We are just happy that no one got hurt," said Simpson.

Major Booth says police are also adjusting staffing on Sunday nights to make sure there is ample police coverage.

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