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Church Hill viral video shows ‘maybe someone got a break’

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Many Central Virginians have seen the video of what witnesses said is a police officer picking up his daughter after she allegedly ran two stop signs in Church Hill.

What could the repercussions of that be?

One man who witnessed the scene said that what he saw that night has caused him to question the integrity of the Richmond Police Department.

“I mean, if it had been any one of us, we would have been lead off in handcuffs,” said S. Preston Duncan, who saw the event happen, and who said he was nearly hit by the driver.

Duncan said he and other witnesses were already out along Broad Street in Church Hill early Sunday morning dealing with an accident, when the woman driving a Fiat nearly hit several people.

He said she blew through two stop signs before a police officer jumped in front of her car to get her to stop.

Duncan says it appears the woman was drunk, and that roughly 30-minutes later a man in yellow, who she referred to as officer and dad, arrived and picked her up instead of her being arrested by the Richmond police officer on scene.

Duncan said she was not given a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.

“When you look at the video, it leads you to believe something underhanded is going on and maybe someone got a break that they shouldn’t have,” former Chesterfield Police Captain, Steve Neal said.

Neal said that while witnesses have one account, it may not be what it seems on the surface.

“There are different circumstances you can consider; domestic dispute and maybe they left at a high rate of speed?” pondered Neal.

Richmond police are still conducting an internal investigation but said the man in the yellow sweatshirt seen picking up the woman is not a Richmond police officer.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, police would not elaborate on the investigation.

“They’re confidential for a reason,” said Kevin Carroll, Chesterfield President of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Carroll said sometimes there are things discovered in internal investigations that don’t need to be shared with the public. He said in general, there are different time frames for different organizations with internal investigations.

“The process can be longer depending on how many witnesses there are, how long it takes to interview witnesses, any other evidence,” said Carroll.

Neal added that perhaps the officer on scene did know the driver, and the man picking her up, but he added that officers are charged with using their own discretion and sometimes, arresting a person might not always be the best option.

11 comments

  • JPINFV

    So, if I almost run over a couple of police officers because I’m upset and not paying attention (or, more likely, drunk), I’ll get a break too? Somehow I doubt that.

  • Glen Allen

    JPINFV – It depends on who her daddy is. More likely she will eventually be stopped, unfortunately, we will have to wait until she runs over and kills a bicyclist or pedestrian like a relatively recent case we are all aware of. Once she kills someone, we will all hear how the parents struggled with her, but there were no treatment options for her, and the mental health laws failed her, bla, bla, bla.

    • Ken Sosinsky

      If he was really a “concerned father doing what most dads would do” he would have her processed through the system and held accountable for her choices; mine made the ‘wrong choice’ and paid the consequences therein . . . welcome to reality !!

  • Kathryn Leighton

    Wow, the only think you people know about this is what you see in a cell phone video. You don’t know if she was drinking or what was wrong with her. Just because you didn’t get let off with your marijuana bust and someone else did doesn’t mean the system is corrupt. I’ve been let off on things and I am not related to any cops or people with influence. I just didn’t act like a prissy hipster. Grow up, jeez…

    • James Hamilton

      Kathryn, you might want to look in the mirror the next time you feel compelled to tell someone to “grow up”.

    • athynz

      And here we go off to defend the police at any cost. 1) Her driving was impaired – it’s a question of if it was due to alcohol, drugs, or perhaps some sort of diabetic issue. 2) Her daddy was called. 3) She did not receive a ticket for her driving being impaired. 4) Evidence of all of the above is on the video. I’m almost amazed that you cannot see this for yourself.

      But yeah, sure, anyone who disagrees with a cop or Kathryn is a hipster scumbag in Kathryn’s world. I will say that you perhaps are right in one thing – the system itself may not be corrupt but those particular cops are.

  • nateog

    The police is the police, not the judge. She broke the law. She should have gotten a ticket or whatever, like they would do anyone else. Let the judge decide what we don’t know.

  • Mel

    I read on the Times Dispatch website that the police were looking for individuals with information to call them. What more information do they need? They have several eyewitnesses, they have video, they have her license plate number. They obviously know who she is and where she lives. Something is SUPER-fishy about this, and if I was a city resident, I’d be demanding answers from the RPD. It’s ridiculous for her to just be whisked away when any of us regular folks would have been tested for a DUI and put in handcuffs. Proof that the Good Ole Boy network is alive and well within the RPD!

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