What your councilmember thinks of RPD chief shutting down discussion of alleged shooting plot

What your councilmember thinks of RPD chief shutting down discussion of alleged shooting plot
Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 12:10:25-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond City Council member Kristen Nye (4th district) said she believes Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith needs to have conversations with the community about what he called an alleged mass shooting plot, despite Smith "closing all discussion" about it on Monday.

"I think it's important the chief and RPD leadership reach out to the community, especially Dogwood Dell, to have conversations about the incident," Nye said.

The decision to shut down the conversation about the alleged plot contradicts Smith's initial reaction when he talked publicly about it multiple times.

Initially, Smith called a press conference on July 6 and told the public that his department thwarted a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell. He also appeared on the national TV network CNN to speak on the topic.

The Problem Solvers asked every Richmond councilperson if they agreed with Chief Smith's decision to close the discussion and if they still had faith in their chief.

There were five council people who stood with the Mayor and the Chief at the initial July 6th presser.

Of those five, Mike Jones' (9th district) liaison said he was unavailable for comment.

Katherine Jordan (2nd district) and Cynthia Newbille (7th district) did not respond.

Ann Frances Lambert (3rd district) said:

The Chief's comments were clear in regards to the case being handled by the US District Attorney. I think the Chief is doing the best he can considering when he took the job. We need to allow some grace to Chief Smith and to all of RPD. Let's not forget the Chief lost his own father in the midst of doing this job. We must work with RPD. They cannot handle public safety alone here in our city. See something say something.

Reva Trammel (8th district) said:

I wish Chief Smith said the FBI is in control of this investigation now. Let them do their work, and I will have more to say after they conclude their investigation. The Chief should realize he answers to the citizens of Richmond.

Stephanie Lynch (5th district) did not respond.

Andreas Addision (1st district) said:

I am not ready to comment currently. I need to review the crime report in more depth before I can respond.

Ellen Robertson (6th district) said:

The department is following the court's lead. The Chief's actions to prevent a mass shooting based on the weapons and ammunitions found gives me resolve that his actions stopped these weapons being used and therefore many lives protected. If a similar occurance ever happens again, I am confident the Chief will take the same actions and I support his action. I have no reason to question my confidence.
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