Richmond Cops Say Man They Shot Pointed Gun at Them; Cops Saw Him Making a 'Hand to Hand' Drug Deal

How much violence is limiting people's freedom to buy and sell drugs worth?



Police say the man they shot in the abdomen near a Richmond motel pointed a gun at officers before he was hit. In video taken moments after the incident, some onlookers are heard questioning why cops shot the man. Police say they initially began to pursue the man, who they have not identified, because they saw him participate in a low-level drug deal. Police say the motel is known to them for drug "crimes" and prostitution. WTVR reports:

Police were attempting the question the man who they saw involved in a "hand-to-hand exchange" near the motel. The area is well-known to police for drug crimes and prostitution, the chief said.

"This is no strange neighborhood to our folks, just a week ago, last Wednesday, seven days ago, our officers were fired upon just on the other side this motel here on Midlothian," he said. "This hotel/motel here is where we get a majority of our calls for service for this precinct and there are some issues here."

Pro-police lobbies may certainly push for more drug and sex laws, but police officers themselves aren't the ones making up these laws. When cops in New York City took it on themselves to resort their law enforcement priorities and avoid "unnecessary arrests," residents and the press were aghast. The New York Times went so far as to suggest the civil rights of poor, largely minority residents were being violated because police officers weren't in those communities enforcing the kind of petty laws that can lead to violent but unnecessary interactions like the one police had with Eric Garner, who they accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Take a look at the photo above and consider how not having a bullet in his abdomen for allegedly buying or selling drugs would be a civil rights violation for the man pictured. So long as mainstream police reform activists focus on individual cops and how much training they get, and not the laws that create the space for violent interactions like this week's in Richmond, such police violence will continue. After all, were the cops to withdraw from the area of that Richmond motel, and allow people to buy and sell drugs and sex in peace, certainly some of the same residents complaining about this police shooting would complain about being abandoned by cops.

NEXT: L.A. Sued Over Little-Known, Unposted Law Allowing Towing Parked Cars After 72 Hours

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How much violence is limiting people’s freedom to buy and sell drugs worth?

    All of it! Why do you have the children, Krayewski?

    1. The impure must be punished. Their suffering will purify them.

  2. Can we just skip to the part where we have Latin American-style extrajudicial killings?

    1. We’re already there. It’s just that here, we still have pretend to have an internal investigation and then say that procedures were followed.

  3. OT: Reading through the Gay Marriage thread below made me think of this, which I thought I would share.

    Most of you should be familiar by now with the Seven Stages of Liberal Legal Activism:

    1. It’s a free country, X should not be illegal.
    2. The Constitution prohibits X from being made illegal.
    3. If the Constitution protects a right to X, how can it be immoral? Anyone who disagrees is a bigot.
    4. If X is a Constitutional right, how can we deny it to the poor? Taxpayer money must be given to people to get X.
    5. The Constitution requires that taxpayer money be given to people to get X.
    6. People who refuse to participate in X are criminals.
    7. People who publicly disagree with X are criminals.

  4. So, where’s the gun?

    Sounds like there may even be witnesses. Too much to hope for video of the killing itself, I suppose.

    But in the absence of any evidence justifying this shooting, can we just jump straight to the end:

    Good shoot. Got home safely. Had it coming. Boo. Yah.

    1. Needz Moar Training.

      1. Nothing that assignment to Vice won’t cure. Hookers and blow on the taxpayer dime will help him get over this tragedy.

        You have no idea how hard his job is.

    2. “So, where’s the gun?”

      First thing I thought of.

      But from the linked article.

      “Investigators recovered the weapon officers said the man pointed at them,”

      So look, you point guns at cops, and bad things happen. This doesn’t seem to be a case of cops getting all scary and nerjous and wetting themselves into panic fire. Don’t go for the gun in your pants when you see the cops. That’s not so hard.

      Much like the fraudulent “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”, not every case of police use of force is unjustified.

      Reason shouldn’t fall (further) into Progressive tactics of stuffing every event into an ideological narrative, no matter how poorly it fits.

      1. “Investigators recovered the weapon officers said the man pointed at them,”

        Whether that’s a weapon the guy actually ever had, we’ll never know. Unless a witness confirms it. And by “witness”, I mean “not a cop”.

        But (assuming they are lying) at least these cops had their shit together enough to keep a throwdown handy if they needed one. That’s the “new professionalism” I’ve heard so much about, right?

  5. I’ll be in Richmond a week and a half from now. I visit pretty often and I hear gunshots pretty regularly while I’m down there.

    1. Really? Where do you stay?

      I lived there for several years and rarely heard gunshots.

  6. It’s a grainy photo, but it appears we have a delicate white woman shooting a big, bad wolf black man.

    1. looks like a white guy to me

  7. How can liberals not care about this anymore?

    That’s not a rhetorical question. How did the anti-government activists of the 60s and early 70s become the money-grubbing, power-seeking, blame-shifting, bag-of-shit progressives of today?

    1. What makes you think they cared about anything in the first place?

      It was all “I care!” theater. Still is.

    2. The flocking progarazzi deals in minor squables- not the real deals.

    3. Uh, because they became the government and discovered how profitable/enjoyable it is to ram this shit down our throats?

      1. Uh, because they became the government

        Right. And they changed it not one fucking bit as they took it over {actually, there were changes and all of them were for the worse}.

    4. They were anti government because they hadn’t fully taken power yet.

      1. They were “anti-government run by you.”

        Principals, my man. Not principles.

  8. Sadly, the situations where cops get it right will never get reported because of a preponderance of superstar morons police chiefs and sheriffs tend to tap because they fear the intelligent.

  9. “After all, were the cops to withdraw from the area of that Richmond motel, and allow people to buy and sell drugs and sex in peace, certainly some of the same residents complaining about this police shooting would complain about being abandoned by cops.”

    If they feel they are abandoned, they can arm themselves, or hire a private security firm to protect them so long as they don’t aggress against others based on their feelings of what others should and shouldn’t do. Because if the individual went to aggress against free individuals engaging in transactions with one another, those individuals would rightly defend themselves, and the security folks might not make it home, and customers just might abandon such a violent security agency leaving it out of business. On top of that, the employees would probably never get another security job as they would be a liability to another company.

    Many are complaining about the police, and still bringing up “if only there were the right people, or if only they had the right training, would things be better” crap, and ignoring the very problem that is a compulsory police force.

  10. On top of that, these folks in costumes are held above others and benefit from qualified immunity. A business funded through extortion regardless of their performance, protected by qualified immunity from their masters, and being shielded from market forces only spells disaster for those who have this service forced upon them through violence.

    Only the private production of security and defense can respect freedom, liberty and the NAP.

    1. This article explains it pretty well. There explicitly are a different set of rules for cops.


      The legal standard authorizing deadly force is something called “objective reasonableness.”

      This standard originates in the 1985 case of Tennessee v. Garner…

      How this reasonableness should be determined was established in a 1989 case, Graham v. Connor:

      The Graham analysis essentially prohibits any second-guessing of the officer’s decision to use deadly force: no hindsight is permitted, and wide latitude is granted to the officer’s account of the situation, even if scientific evidence proves it to be mistaken.

      1. So my take on this is:

        If I shoot someone because I perceived a threat, a court will decide if I acted reasonably.
        If a cop shoots someone, he just has to say, I perceived a threat, and a court will presume the cop acted reasonably.

        Explains a lot regarding these shootings.

        1. How that’s not a license to kill, I don’t know.

          “Why’d you shoot him?”

          “He needed killin’.”

          “Welp, good enough for me!”

  11. Amsterdam!!!!!!!

    1. Gangs of New York ?

  12. I find this conflict interesting:

    On the one hand, the War on Vice is what’s known as “job security” and so Team Blue (Police) are highly motivated to have such things remain illegal.

    On the other hand, constantly sticking one’s nose into Vice transactions is an inherently risky business and should be repulsive to anyone who believes in the Blue First Commandment: THOU SHALT RETURN HOME SAFELY.

    The only way for Team Blue to balance these conflicts is to short first and ask no questions later.

  13. *shoot first

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.