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Richmond Police drop ‘Lip Sync Challenge’ video: ‘I wanna see you be brave’

RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond Police Department is the latest law enforcement agency to enter the viral “Lip Sync Challenge” sweeping the nation.

“The wait is over!” officials posted on Facebook Friday afternoon. “The community challenged, we accepted!”

The department’s video begins with an officer in a classroom addressing a diverse crowd of adults and children assembled for Public Safely Awareness Day.

“Here at the Richmond City Police Department, our mission is to make our community safer with community engagement,” the officer says. “We’re looking for police officers. We’re looking for recruits. You can be amazing.”

The video, set to Sara Bareilles’ hit song “Brave,” then shows children in the audience lip syncing the lyrics, “You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug. You can be the outcast or be the backlash. Or be the backlash of  somebody’s lack of love.”

The video then morphs to two Richmond officers as the song shifts to the empowering act of speaking up and being a force for good.

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

The production continues with a trip across RVA with appearances from Richmond police, firefighters, dispatchers and the Richmond Ambulance Authority.

The Richmond Police Department's "Lip Sync Challenge" video.

The Richmond Police Department’s “Lip Sync Challenge” video.

Things reach crescendo when the participants and the general public dance and lip sync on Browns Island with the skyline as the backdrop.

The video ends with a return to the officer in the classroom.

“Thank you for coming. Now’s who’s ready to sign up?” the officer says as  everyone in the class raises their hand.

Social media reaction 

Most reaction to the video on social media was positive.

“You had me at five seconds in with the children,” Deborah Barksdale wrote. “Terrific job representing a wonderful message!”

Nicky Banks said she loved the production and thinks the department “bumped Norfolk PD from the top spot!”

“It was fun with a message,” she wrote.

Connie Daniel Lester said she loved how the department spotlighted so many brave women who serve our community.

“…The message was presented to our youth of how they too can be part of such an important contribution to the city,” Lester wrote.

Veronica McCall said everyone involved did “awesome” and that she was “waiting on Henrico County” for their entry.

But not all of the reaction was glowing.

“Great message, but I’ve seen a lot better,” one woman wrote.

Creating the video 

The department invited the public to be part of the video on Browns Island Thursday afternoon.

“All you have to do is show up at 3:30 and be ready to dance,” officials posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Officials thanked everyone who made the four-minute video possible.

Officials credited Richard MacDonald of New Media Systems with directing and editing the production. David Neale with Fable Branding was credited with “Creative Direction.”

The department challenged Henrico’s police and fire departments to take part in the challenge. And Henrico Police Chief Humberto Cardounel Jr. posted “challenge accepted” and “stay tuned” Friday morning.

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