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As Richmond marches peacefully, CA Herring explains how he would have approached Ferguson case

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RICHMOND, VA -- In his first interview following the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring talked about what he would do differently if a similar case would ever happen here.

"We would not release the findings at nighttime," Herring said, although he acknowledged Ferguson officials likely made a strategic decision.

Herring also said that if he was attempting to prosecute a police officer, he would deal directly with the grand jury and not have assistants present the evidence, as Ferguson officials did.

"I certainly would not have handed it off to someone else," Herring said.

Several critics have said the Ferguson prosecutors presented too much evidence to the grand jury. Those critics argue that if a prosecutor truly wanted an indictment he would keep some of the evidence secret until trial.

But Herring disagrees and said he would likely do the same thing and give the grand jury everything.

"Of the various criticisms of this fella the one I don't agree with was that he overloaded them with information," Herring said.

Herring said that the grand jury was the right call and that he would not have made a decision to indict unilaterally.

One conclusion Herring has drawn from the Michael Brown story is that he believes something must be done to address the number of black men killed by police officers.

"There appears to be a high number of fatalities of African American men at the the hands of police officers and I don't know why that is," Herring said.

Herring is experienced in prosecuting cops , having convicted  officer Michael Couture in the death of Santanna Olavarria. Herring said the reason he pursued conviction was that their was evidence supported the belief Olavarri'a hands were up, evidence that did not exist in the Michael Brown case. [READ: HOLMBERG: Why police shootings in Richmond rarely lead to violent protests]

"Because his hands were up that was sufficient to warrant a conviction."

Tuesday several hundred protesters gathered at the John Marshall Courts building to protest the decision.

"We are here to show black lives matter," one protester chanted.

The protest was peaceful and organized however -- unlike Ferguson -- with Richmond police closing down streets for protesters to march.



  • James Regal

    This Herring guy should have taken a Math class in college…… When your race is 80 percent of all crimes commited and your Only 13 percent of the Population Thats why there killed more Often then other Races… Dont blame the Hard working Cops Go after the problem People Dude…. Daaaaaaaaaaa

    • Glen Allen

      It is pretty well known that Herring is not the brightest bulb in the pack, but the key here is that there were some 70 odd hours of evidence presented to the grand jury, and we did not hear all of it, so it would appear that protesters may be profiling police much the same way they are accusing the police of doing to African Americans, but we are also forgetting that it was the grand jury that has cleared the officer. I don’t know if African Americans are treated differently or not, it could be that instances with African Americans are more highly publicized, but I do agree with public sentiment that police officers should be provided with body cameras to better assure accountability.

    • joey

      According to the FBI which compiles data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting program:

      In 2012, 69.3 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.1 percent were black, and 2.6 percent were of other races.

      Of all juveniles (persons under the age of 18) arrested in 2012, 65.2 percent were white, 32.2 percent were black, and 2.5 percent were of other races.

      Of all adults arrested in 2012, 69.7 were white, 27.6 percent were black, and 2.7 percent were of other races.

      White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race, accounting for 58.7 percent of those arrests.

      The percentages of black adults and white adults arrested for murder were similar, with 49.3 percent being black and 48.3 percent being white.

      Black juveniles accounted for 51.5 percent of all juveniles arrested for violent crimes. White juveniles accounted for 61.6 percent of all juveniles arrested for property crimes.

      Of the juveniles arrested for drug abuse violations, 74.0 percent were white.
      White juveniles accounted for 55.2 percent of juveniles arrested for aggravated assaults.

      FBI Table 43/43c, 2012
      FBI Table 43 Overview, 2012

      • joey

        b addy make sure you bookmark this next time you want to throw out percentages. b addy loves to throw out percentages. The chart shows numbers in actual numbers and percentages for your ease of reading.

  • manlishi

    “There appears to be a high number of fatalities of African American men at the the hands of police officers and I don’t know why that is,” Herring said.” Ok, is this a-hole really that far out of touch from reality? Who voted for him? He knows, but is just pandering for political gain. Never trust a democrat, they’re all the same.

    • kim

      He knows why….because of racist people like you, but he just wanted to be PC. White people stereotype black people to the max. If a black kid dresses in baggy clothes as a teen to be within the trends, he’s an automatic thug. If a white teen dresses in goth as a teen, he’s going through a phase and we wont pay it any attention. It’s always a double standard with you people.

  • Beckyh

    He’s another Democratic “Legal Eagle”. He refuses proof, truth, evidence, legislated due process, and Government’s public records right here Positively(?) Richmond.
    As Richmond’s Commonwealth Attorney, how many covert, unscrupulous, down and dirty “Deals for Gifters with
    Direct Access”, has he advised and counseled? He protects Government’s Operatives and Agendas; NOT be residents that PAY him.
    PC makes it so safe, easy, and convenient to be deaf, dumb, blind and mute for PC’s Sake Only.
    See him step out of hiding for Agenda. Do you see or hear him step out to protect Residents/Tax Payers?

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    These kids are always looking for a reason to protest. If anything and they are doing is wasting tax dollars and annoying people going home from work.

  • joey

    What I posted goes to show that the media skews society’s thinking. They broadcast the crimes they want to broadcast to make you think one race is doing the majority of all crime. If I report 10 crimes by a black person for every 1 crime by a white person, you would think black people is doing all the crime too if you’re not educated and depend on the media.

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