Outrage over RPD viral video tempered by 'officer discretion' - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Public outrage over RPD viral video tempered by 'officer discretion'

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

We put the rumor to rest that Richmond Police officers looked the other way on a DUI stop, because witnesses thought the woman's father was a "fellow cop." 


We tracked down the man in the video. It seems he may just be a concerned father doing what most dads would do.

"Stop taking my video!" yelled the a young female who was stopped after witnesses say she was driving erratically. 

"And it looked like the car was coming right at us," said witness Tiffany Meehan. "So we jumped out of the way."

Meehan says she watched as the female made a call. Moments later, a man who witnesses presumed was her dad arrived.

"Cut the camera off son," said the man who was wearing a yellow hoodie.  

The witnesses kept shooting the cell phone video.

"We were expecting that this would be documented," said Meehan. "She would be given a ticket, a sobriety test, and arrested."

No. The female was allowed to leave with the man in the yellow hoodie. 

"Most of what she was saying was unintelligible," said witness Preston Anderson. "But we did hear her say the word dad and officer quite clearly several times." 

We tracked down the man in the yellow hoodie at his in Henrico home. He had no comment, but his voice mail suggests he's a contractor. 

We stopped by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. Executive director Dana Schrad says this all boils down to police discretion.

"It's one of those situations where if any one of us is in it we would certainly like to see the officer use some discretion in our case as well," said Schrad.

Richmond Police confirm an internal investigation is now underway. Schrad says at most the officer will likely be asked to brush up on training courses. 

"Because the fact of the matter is usually when officers use discretion," said Schrad. "They are using their best judgement usually under duress."

In this case, the officer was already writing a report for a man suspected of driving drunk. That man allegedly slammed into Preston Anderson's car. The female driver came after that accident. 

"And my first thought was this is another police officer rushing to the scene of the crime," said Anderson. "Then we noticed the headlights were not decelerating as they blow through the intersection."

Richmond Police had no comment. They tell us the investigation is ongoing. 

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