Lee Monument Protest Civil Rights Actions

MORE RPD MISINFORMATION

Spectacular Attempt To Misdirect Public & Media Attention from The RPD Retraction of the 2020 False Tweet

We have reached out to Fox News to see if they had any comment.

The settlement required the City of Richmond to retract the misinformation it posted on Twitter in 2020 falsely claiming the gassing was necessary to protect police officers.

 “Old habits die hard”  It appears that RPD attempted to misdirect local and national attention away from their mandatory July 1, 2022 retraction of the false misdirection of 2020 with a spectacular false misdirection on July 4, 2022 weekend by claiming that they had brilliantly foiled a mass shooting plot!   But, we learned that old habits die hard.  On 8/3/2022, in open court Richmond Prosecutor Clinton Seal admitted to Judge Hicks there was no evidence pointing to an alleged plot for a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell in Richmond.

Video of Court Admission

Judge Hicks: Does the Commonwealth have information that either of these individuals were involved in something that could have potentially have affected Dogwood Dell on the 4th of July where I have advised you that my children were present because I need to know that before I can determine whether I can do anything else on this matter, what would be your statement to that Mr. Seal

Prosecutor: No

Judge Hicks: No?

Prosecutor: I don’t

Judge Hicks: you don’t what?

Prosecutor: Have anything information that would lead the the Commonwealth to believe your honor has a conflict

Lee Monument Protest Action Update

Police Officially Retract Misinformation Campaign Claiming Gas Was Necessary!

Settlement Requires Richmond Police Department to Turn Over to the Virginia Library Videos and Reports So Public Has Access!

Blackwood Plaintiffs Settled

Case 3:20-cv-00401-JAG Document 89 Filed 02/10/22 Page 3 of 7 PageID# 440

The class was never certified – and the putative lead plaintiffs reached a settlement.  

The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC is NO LONGER representing individual plaintiffs in connection with the June 1, 2020 Lee Monument Protest.

 

In February, 2022 – We informed the public that there was NO CLASS ACTION – we are no longer accepting clients related to June 1, 2020 Lee Monument Protest

The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC has spent hundreds of hours addressing every aspect of the law and the facts related to the June 1, 2020 protest — We are NO LONGER accepting all remaining peaceful protestors as new clients.

Case 3:20-cv-00401-JAG Document 89 Filed 02/10/22 Page 3 of 7 PageID# 440

The Blackwood plaintiffs [represented by Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC] have now reached a settlement of their claims with the City, releasing the City and its officers. The parties have agreed that the protective orders should expire as to the Blackwood plaintiffs effective July 1, 2022. They have further agreed to a dismissal with prejudice the Court retaining jurisdiction of the case to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement.

COURT ORDER

ORDER upon due consideration, the Court GRANTS the [88] motion for modification of the protective orders, and MODIFIES the protective orders entered in this case, (ECF Nos. [16] and [61] (incorporating ECF No. [58] by reference)), such that they EXPIRE on July 1, 2022. It is so ORDERED. Signed by Senior United States District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. on 2/14/2022. (sbea)

No Surprise - Empty Promises by the City of Richmond

One Year Statute of Limitations to Begin Misdemeanor Prosecution Against Miscreant Police Officers to Lapse on June 1, 2021 - with no prosecutions???????????

The one year limitation for initiation of criminal prosecution for misdemeanors under Va. Code  § 19.2-8 will lapsed at midnight on June 1, 2021 , and the promise of an investigation and prosecutions for those responsible for the assault and battery on Virginia’s citizens may prove to be empty promises.

HOWEVER!!!! - "Malfeasance in office" - 2 year statute of limitations

Note: Va Code § 19.2-8 does provide “Prosecution of nonfelonious offenses which constitute malfeasance in office shall commence within two years next after the commission of the offense.”  To rest upon this extension of the statute of limitations adds an additional layer of complexity – having to prove that the nonfelonious offense also constitutes “malfeasance in office.”  There is little statutory or case law to guide courts on this common law violation of malfeasance.  For a deeper dive – click here.

Since the RPD officers had no right to arrest the peaceful protesters – their actions would not be misfeasance (doing a lawful thing by improper or unlawful means — but malfeasance in office – doing an act for which they had no lawful authority.

July 17, 2020 - Statement from the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney's Office

zzzzz......

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney - Still Not Transparent!

"the tear gas, as we later learned, had been used unintentionally"
Mayor Levar Stoney

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney NYTimes Ed-OP statement - Tear Gas "had been used unintentionally" is disingenuous and lacking in transparency!

Transparency and a commitment to adherence to Constitutional restraints and the law and is the best way to protect our minority communities and all of the Commonwealth’s citizens.  And that must start at the top, from the Mayor’s office and work its way all the way down to the cop walking the beat.  Contrary to the Mayor’s statement, the use of tear gas was intentional and wrong. 

The City of Richmond has failed to accept responsibility as evidenced by the fact that it has not resolved the protest litigation related to the Lee Monument protest, that it has not agreed to transparency, but it still hides behind a protective order.  Mayor Stoney speaks of working to address 400 years of injustice, but as Mayor of the City of Richmond he is not prepared to take the first step to provide justice to the peaceful protestors who were actually making a difference.  Mayor Stoney, talk is cheap – its time for the City of Richmond to act, at the very least, start with baby steps – provide justice to those peaceful protestors wronged just 1 year ago, instead of devoting so much time and money to denial, lining the pockets of defense attorneys.

4/23/2021 - Thomas H Roberts & Associates PC ask the court to permit greater access to information in discovery!

4/23/2021 --- Blackwood plaintiffs, by counsel-Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC, and move to modify the orders of June 26, 2020, July 6, 2020, and December 10, 2020, related to discovery. In the interim, the civil rights law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC has conducted detailed analysis of the events and continues to advocate to hold the officers accountable and to provide transparency.

12/10/2020 --- The District Court approved a joint discovery plan.

11/18/2020 --- Mark E. Rubin to serve as Special Master for the purposes of mediating a settlement in these consolidated actions

"Qualified Immunity"

"This has to stop!"

Virginia Lawmakers REJECTED Bill That Bans Qualified Immunity for Cops

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
08/14/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 08/18/20 20200380D
08/14/2020Committee
08/14/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
08/25/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB5013)
08/26/2020Reported from Courts of Justice (12-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
08/28/2020Motion to refer to committee agreed to
08/28/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
08/28/2020Read first time
08/31/2020Failed to report (defeated) in Appropriations (11-Y 11-N)

The judge invented doctrine to protect law enforcement officers is coming under scrutiny.  On August 4, 2020, federal judge Carlton W. Reeves in the Southern District of Mississippi wrote:

The Constitution says everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law – even at the hands of law enforcement. Over the decades, however, judges have invented a legal doctrine to protect law enforcement officers from having to face any consequences for wrongdoing. The doctrine is called “qualified immunity.” In real life it operates like absolute immunity.

In a recent qualified immunity case, the Fourth Circuit wrote:

Although we recognize that our police officers are often asked to make split-second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives.

This Court agrees. Tragically, thousands have died at the hands of law enforcement over the years, and the death toll continues to rise. Countless more have suffered from other forms of abuse and misconduct by police. Qualified immunity has served as a shield for these officers, protecting them from accountability.

This Court is required to apply the law as stated by the Supreme Court. Under that law, the officer who transformed a short traffic stop into an almost two-hour, life-altering ordeal is entitled to qualified immunity. The officer’s motion seeking as much is therefore granted.

But let us not be fooled by legal jargon. Immunity is not exoneration. And the harm in this case to one man sheds light on the harm done to the nation by this manufactured doctrine.

As the Fourth Circuit concluded, “This has to stop.

Jamison v. McClendon, No. 3:16-CV-595-CWR-LRA, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139327, at *4 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 4, 2020)

Judge John A. Gibney assigned to the case

7/21/2020

Docket Text:
Case Reassigned to District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.. District Judge Henry E. Hudson no longer assigned to the case. (smej, )

 Court Document 30 Filed 07/21/20

Judge Hudson Recuses Himself

Even though a Judge may be impartial, the public perception is also important, and to avoid the appearance of impartiality due to a prior working relationship with former police chief William Smith, Judge Hudson recused himself.

Court Document 26 Filed 07/14/20

Judge Novak No Longer on the Case

Judge Novak rucuses himself because the Former Chief of Police objects as his nephew works as an officer for the Richmond Police Department.  The case was assigned to Judge Hudson, but with his ties to the Former Chief of Police, he will likely recuse himself as well.

The Identity of the Police Officers Discovered

The City of Richmond Police Department has provided counsel with a list of names of Richmond Police Officers involved at the Lee Memorial on June 1, 2020.  The identities of the officers is subject to a protective order at this time, but available to counsel who continue to investigate the matter.

Court Document 23 Filed 07/13/20