Chief apologizes after police release bad photo

Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 14:08:57-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham has apologized to the family of a Richmond high school student whose photo was mistakenly released as part of an active murder investigation.

At 9:53 a.m. Monday, police identified the suspect in a Friday night murder as 17-year-old Ishmael D. Brown, of Richmond.

While the name was correct, police said, the photo attached to the media release was not that of Brown.

Within minutes of the wrong photo being posted on news websites and social media, people who know the teenager in the picture called to report the error.

At 11:30 a.m., police sent a second photo of a second person who appeared to be a high school-aged teen.

At 12:03 p.m., police emailed a third time asking the media to not disseminate the photo.

At 3:48 p.m., an actual photo of the suspect, Ishmael D. Brown, was sent to media via email.

Ishmael D. Brown (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

Ishmael D. Brown (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

“I have spoken to the family of the young man whose photographs were inadvertently released yesterday, identifying him as the suspect in the murder,” Chief Durham said. “I have personally apologized to the family for what happened. It should never have occurred. After meeting with my detectives, I have concluded it was an honest mistake. New measures are now in place to prevent this from happening in the future. All photographs will be more closely vetted before they are released the public.”

Richmond Police detectives are still working to solve the murder of 17-year-old George M. Carrington III.

George M. Carrington III.

George M. Carrington III.

“We still need the community’s help to locate the suspect, Ishmael Brown,” Chief Durham said. “Investigators have been working on this case around-the-clock to bring closure to the victim’s family. Their ultimate goal, to solve this crime, remains unchanged.”

Carrington’s body was found near a crashed car Friday at about 5:39 p.m. on Milton Street in Richmond’s Providence Park neighborhood.

He had been shot, police said.

Anyone with information about Brown or this incident was asked to call Major Crimes Detective Greg Russell at 804-646-7715 or contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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