NewsLocal News

Actions

Henrico man awakes to police officers in his bedroom; chief explains why it happened

Posted at 6:50 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 18:57:59-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Police officers entered the bedroom of a Henrico County man because of an incorrect address provided by a third party medical alert company, according to Henrico County’s Police Chief.

A tweet sent late Friday night from a local recording artist recounting his terrifying experience was shared more than 1,500 times and reposted by state legislators.

Mike Millions, who goes by the Twitter handle “9 Million,” wrote that the latest incident marks the third time in four months officers showed up at his home unannounced for a mistaken medical alert call.

“Imagine accidentally falling asleep on your bed and waking up to several police in your [expletive] bedroom,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m a black man in 2020 with police in my [expletive] bedroom and I have no clue how they got in my house... Imagine what the [expletive] I’m thinking waking up to strange people around my bed.”

“It kind of scared me,” said Henrico Police Chief Eric English when asked about his initial reaction to the call. “Anyone having that happen to them, I can understand why he felt the way he did, and I explained that to him.”

English said a third party medical alert company contacted Henrico County dispatchers with a distress call originating from Millions’ address, which was obviously the incorrect one.

“The call had an individual that was yelling for help,” English said. “When we responded there, we got there and were not able to get an answer at the door. The decision was made to enter the residence because, again, the thought process is that there might be someone down inside the residence that needs medical help.”

Henrico Police and Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor have launched an investigation into how the incident played out, and English said they are still not sure exactly why the medical alert company continues to provide Millions’ address.

“I can assure you, like I told him yesterday, we’ll have something in place where we will not be responding back to this particular location,” English said.

Millions said he is in contact with an attorney, who advised against an on-camera interview with media outlets. He said via social media messages that his conversation with English was productive and that the Chief “understood how deadly these mistakes could have been.”

Although they do not have an exact number, English said Henrico officers respond to numerous medical alert calls each year from multiple companies.

“I would say for the majority of those calls, this was just an outlier,” he said. “It was just the incorrect location. So we have to figure out why that occurred because one bad incident could really cause some issues, not only for ourselves but our citizens.”

Henrico Police were able to find the person who activated the medical alert, but English said there was not in fact a medical emergency. The Chief promised a thorough investigation into the incident and to share the findings with Millions.