Man involved in ‘Shamrock the Block’ fracas charged with officer assault

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–An official charge was just filed today against the Colonial Heights man caught on tape in a skirmish with police at the “Shamrock the Block” festival.

The video went viral almost one month ago.

Jason Dotson was charged on March 16 with public intoxication but according to court records he was just charged today with the felony count of assaulting a police  officer.

Richmond Police Department confirmed the charges, and told CBS 6 that Friday they served a warrant on Dotson, 22, for felony assault on a police officer.

The video, posted to YouTube, shows Richmond Police officers using force to control members of the crowd at Saturday’s ‘Shamrock The Block‘ event in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom.

People who attended the event said it was the manner in which the police apprehended the individual that caused concern.  Specifically, the use of the “choke-hold” by police.

“It was very excessive force very, very excessive,” Josh Coglin, a Chesterfield resident who witnessed the event, told CBS 6 in March.

Coglin said that the rowdy crowd did not help the situation and that both parties involved were at fault.

“He might not have been in the right but neither were the police officers. I don’t think anyone did what they should of,” Coglin added.

CBS 6 took Coglin’s concerns to the Richmond Police Department where they told us the incident is under investigation.

“We want to make sure we protect our department and we want to protect our officers,” Major Scott Booth of the RPD said.

“Whenever we have a use of force incident in the Richmond Police Department it goes through several supervisory review processes,” Booth added.

All officers involved in the event remain on active duty according to police.

Security expert Steve Neal said he sees very little wrong with how the officers responded.

“The police have every right to use the amount of force that’s necessary and appropriate to make that arrest,” Neal said.

Neal added that police departments have various procedures regarding choking and that when he was in law enforcement his department encouraged officers not to use it.

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