Richmond Police respond to ‘Shamrock The Block’ video

Posted at 1:37 PM, Mar 18, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - It is a video that has gone viral.

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.

But for people who were there it was the manner in which the police apprehended the individual that is causing 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, said.

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.

We 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.

Richmond Police indicated each incident is evaluated on a case by case basis.

The video and full police statement are below.

Warning: This video has strong language and images

[WTVR CBS 6 blurred the video, click here to see the raw video]

The statement read:

The Richmond Police Department is in the early stages of reviewing the use of force incident that occurred during an arrest Saturday afternoon at the Shamrock the Block event.

The Department is aware of the YouTube video and it will be part of the investigation, as it would in any other situation where a complaint is made.

Richmond Police officers go through six months of very detailed training when it comes to dealing with and arresting individuals in a variety of different situations.

 “Though I cannot comment on the specifics of this incident, the public should rest assured that our officers are well-trained and that all use of force incidents are reviewed by Department supervisors to ensure the officers acted appropriately,” Operations Area 1 Major Scott Booth said in a statement.