RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In a press conference Thursday outside Richmond Police headquarters, RPD Chief Al Durham appeared to show frustration over the way inaccurate or incomplete information about an officer-involved shooting Wednesday spread online, through social media.
Cell phone video uploaded to YouTube showed RPD officers talking to a man laying on the ground that, moments earlier, one of the officers had allegedly shot in the stomach. That man, Roderick Hardy, 29, was charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm and brandishing a firearm, Durham said Thursday.
Durham said Thursday the officer who had fired his weapon had been placed on administrative leave.
The Richmond Police chief is defending his officers, after he says video on social media, showing the moments after yesterday's officer-involved shooting, is being misconstrued. Chief Al Durham says posts alleging the suspect was unarmed, are false.
The chief reiterated that the suspect had a gun, and aimed it in the direction at officers. Durham also confirmed that surveillance video shows the man running from officers, with a weapon in his hand.
The chief says Hardy says it's critical to wait for the final outcome of the investigation before coming to conclusions. He also says officers have been unfairly targeted since the incident yesterday, which he won't stand for.
"We have had folks that have made threats to our officers. And I tell you, I will not tolerate that. Our officers are out here doing a tremendous job, protecting and safeguarding this community. And sometimes folks (need to) understand that these types of situations happen, where officers have to defend themselves or others," said Durham, during a press interview outside of headquarters.
Durham further pointed out that the cell phone video shows officers and medics vigorously treating the suspect, immediately after he was shot.
Meantime, a rally is being planned for Friday, outside the Richmond Inn and Suites, where the officer-involved shooting happened. Community leaders say the gathering, at 1 p.m., will focus on curbing violence centered among black men.
Durham says he is working with city leaders to clean up the hotel, to eliminate what says has been a central point of crime for years. In the last four years, Richmond officers report having responded to five shootings, 22 violent crimes, 27 prostitution calls, and more than 156 suspicious incidents at that hotel.
"We need to sit down and meet the owners of that hotel. We need to address this problem. A majority of my calls for service for the third precinct starts at that site. And that's unacceptable. Enough is enough," said Durham.
Durham said investigation into the shooting would incorporate the video of the incident recorded by at least two different people.