Charles Byers' parents seek accountability, change year after son's fatal police shooting: 'He should be here'

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 08, 2024

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Charles Byers was shot and killed by a Chesterfield Police officer on July 8, 2023, as he retreated from officers while holding a hatchet. The officers responded to reports of a breaking and entering on Wycliff Court and found Byers holding the hatchet.

The shooting happened about 45 seconds after they arrived on scene.

Charles Byers body cam footage

Byers was under an active temporary detention order (TDO) at the time of his death. He was determined to be incapable of caring for himself and at risk of suffering serious harm. While his TDO required him to be involuntarily held at Chippenham Hospital for up to 72 hours, he was forcibly removed by a Richmond Police officer after allegedly kicking a nurse. Byers was admitted for three hours and was not seen by a psychiatrist, according to medical records.

The Byers family reflected on the past year and continues to seek change as to how mentally ill people are treated by the mental health system and law enforcement.

CBS 6 investigative reporter Tyler Layne has been thoroughly looking into the case and what some officials have considered systematic failures.

Following Byers' death, records and information obtained by CBS 6 revealed that Richmond Police changed policies on dealing with mentally ill patients in hospital settings, Chippenham Hospital updated procedures and reinforced training on interacting with law enforcement, and some lawmakers have committed to examining legislative gaps that were apparent in this case.

Watch: Tyler Layne recaps what he's uncovered in the death of Charles Byers

Tyler Layne recaps what he's uncovered in the death of Charles Byers
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Watch Tyler Layne's reporting on CBS 6 and Have something for Tyler to investigate? Email him.

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