Attorneys, witnesses say RPD used extreme drive in protest arrests. Police defend their actions. | Crime Information

Attorneys, witnesses say RPD used excessive force in protest arrests. Police defend their actions. | Crime News

As an officer approached the cyclist from the side of the tow truck, the cyclist mounts his bike and rides, northbound, around the truck away from the officer, the video showed. The pursuing officer turns his back on the cyclist and walks out of view. The camera follows the bike, which swerves into the median to avoid an oncoming, unmarked police vehicle.

The driver, an RPD officer who was wearing a tactical vest but did not appear to be in uniform, exits the vehicle at a sprint, pursuing the bike across the median and two southbound lanes and shoving the cyclist to the pavement. Seven other officers race over as screams from protesters in the background can be heard.

The camera pans the nearby crowd as several other protesters appear to getting shoved to the ground and arrested.

“Other protesters then came over in an attempt to de-arrest him or prevent him from being arrested by the officers,” Collier said at the news conference Wednesday.

Collier said the officer, whom he described as tackling the cyclist, did not have his body-worn camera on at the time, and Collier added that he did not know if any other officers captured the encounter on their cameras.

Richmond police were called by the Richmond Sheriff’s Office to assist with the protest, which Collier said was encroaching on the jail’s property. Upon arriving, Collier said the officers noticed several parking violations and called in several tow trucks, starting the standoff.