A timeline of Gerald Smith’s years as Richmond’s police chief

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:10 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Gerald Smith resigned Tuesday as Richmond’s police chief. Here’s a look at the timeline of events since he was named chief in 2020:

JUNE 2020

  • Mayor Levar Stoney asks for Will Smith’s resignation at the height of violent protests in the city of Richmond. Smith then resigns.
  • Jody Blackwell is named interim chief.
  • Gerald Smith is announced as the new chief of police. At the time the department is faced with criticism about how the riots were handled and officers’ interactions with protestors.

JULY 2020

  • Gerald Smith is sworn in as Chief of Police


  • Chief Smith is asked to resign by The Richmond Coalition of Police (RCOP) because of results from their anonymous survey

JULY 2022

Looking back, Chief Smith says they didn’t get the messaging right.


  • 2 - Federal charges filed against suspects
  • 3 - Federal court takes over the case
  • 5 - Suspects’ first federal court appearance
  • 8 - Smith says he will no longer discuss the Fourth of July incident
  • 12 - Senator Kaine says the community is owed answers
  • 16 - Smith says he has “no regrets” about the way the alleged mass shooting plot was handled, Richmond councilor Katherine Jordan calls for special meeting
  • 26- A report reveals Smith was informed in writing before his July 6 news conference that the location of any potential incident was “unknown.”
  • 29 - Smith apologizes for “confusion and anxiety over July 4th shooting plot”


6 - City council holds a private meeting with Smith (closed session)

14 - First of five “community conversations” is held


24 - Councilwoman Reva Trammel calls for Chief’s Smith resignation

25 - Smith resigns and Richard Edwards is sworn in as acting chief