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Richmond Police Chief: ‘This is not Ferguson, this is not Charleston’

Posted at 6:47 PM, Aug 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-06 18:47:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. – On Thursday Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, at the helm of the department since Feb. 2015, addressed some community uproar over the death of an armed suspect who engaged in a shootout with two officers during a foot pursuit.

The officers were called to the 2100 block of West Cary Street Wednesday when someone reported a man with a gun. When the officers arrived, 20-year-old Keshawn Dominique Hargrove Hargrove ran, police said.

The chief said Hargrove was killed and nine-year Richmond Police Department veteran Ryan Bailey suffered an arm injury in the exchange of gunfire during the foot pursuit.

Witnesses heard multiple shots fired. Witness Luis Ambriz said that when Hargrove was on the ground he continued to fire shots.

Ambriz also said both officers made their way to the suspect and tried to help him. “Tried to give the guy CPR? Yes, they tried to help him,” said Ambriz. “It was crazy man, crazy.”

Durham said that Hargrove was shot once.

“This is not Ferguson, this is not South Charleston,” he said. “And I refuse to allow the community to make and paint a picture of our officers that we have a bunch of rogue officers here who are out of control. That is not the case.”

“My anger if you will is that to know that folks are accusing my officers, two officers, who were defending themselves, saving their lives, when we use force, it’s not to kill, we use force to eliminate the threat,” Durham said.

Hargrove’s mother was on the scene Wednesday, talking to police.

“We have to let them do their job, and we have to do our job,” she told the crowd.

“Give us an opportunity to investigate this incident,” Durham said. “I love this community and we will be open and transparent.”

“It was very frustrating for me all yesterday evening and last night just losing sleep thinking about how that community was reacting to this, and it’s understandable, there was a family who lost a loved one, that’s understandable, but again we have to look at the actions of that individual Mr. Hargrove,” Durham said.

“I love this community, our officers love what they do, and guess what, we have bad people out there, let’s face it,” the chief said. “We can go and talk about what’s going on all across the country, the race relations between law enforcement and the communities that they serve;we don’t want that here.”

“The citizens in this community know that they value their police officers, and we value our community,” he added.

Both officers involved are on paid leave, per standard protocol. The officer shot in the arm was released from the hospital and expected to be fine.