RICHMOND, VA. -- Richmond City Council members voted Monday evening to approve two new taskforces aimed at improving police relations in Richmond.
One will create the rules to set up a civilian review board and the other will work on the guidelines of a new Marcus Alert
The Marcus Alert is an advisory that will help officers and social workers respond to incidents involving people with mental health emergencies.
The alert is named for Marcus David Peters, who was shot and killed by a police officer during a mental health emergency in 2018. Peters was unclothed and unarmed when he charged a police officer who shot him. Peters’ family said their loved one was experiencing a mental crisis and needed help, and have been advocating for the alert and a citizen review board to be enacted since shortly after his death.
The review board is an entity independent of the police department’s internal affairs that would consist of civilians who would be able to identify issues and recommend policy changes related to policing in Richmond.
Both entities have been demanded by protesters throughout weeks of unrest in Richmond.