RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two Virginia police officers have been indicted on misdemeanor charges stemming from their actions during the summer’s widespread protests against police brutality and racism, authorities said.
A grand jury charged officers Mark Janowski and Christopher Brown with misdemeanor assault and battery, the Richmond Police Department said in a statement Monday.
Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin told WRIC that the indictments are sealed and “no further information can be provided until they have been served.”
The jury initially deliberated 18 indictments but moved forward on only two of the charges.
“These events are unfortunate,” Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith said in a written statement. “However, we must allow the legal process to work.” Smith said the officers are being placed on administrative assignment while the charges are pending.
Protests across the nation were sparked by the death of George Floyd in late May. The Black man died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air.
In Richmond, protesters have raised various concerns over how police have responded to demonstrations and treated protesters.
In July, McEachin’s office cleared Richmond police of wrongdoing after reviewing five civil complaints. The office had investigated whether an officer deliberately drove a vehicle through a crowd of protesters in June and whether an officer spat on a protester.
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