Here are links to PDFs of various Manuals, General Orders, and Protocols of the Richmond Police Department. You can check them out for a better understanding of what the police are and are not supposed to be doing. This can help with fully understanding your rights, as well as when engaged in activities such as copwatching. It is important for citizens to know when cops are breaking their own rules so we can hold them accountable.
We are also posting this information as a permanent resource page at the top of our blog.
The Wingnut used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get these documents from the Richmond Police Department. We scanned all 595 pages (at no small cost to our sanity), and are posting them online to save others the time and money (about 82 dollars in this case) required to get the documents. However, if you find this information to be useful, please feel free to make a donation to the Wingnut. We have a paypal button on this blog, and can also accept checks written to Moriah Karn and mailed to 2005 Barton Avenue Richmond, Virginia 23222 or cash donations in person.
The Freedom of Information Act is a policy which is Federal, but also exists in most states and localities. It means that if you can figure out what department to ask for information from, you can get the government to give you information not otherwise available. From inter-office emails, to lab reports, to manuals, or even one’s own FBI files, FOIA is a very useful tool for everyone.
This website has information about the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and who at the City of Richmond to contact:
Depending on the agency you are requesting information from, there will be different fees associated with your FOIA request. Most places charge you a per page copying fee as well as a per hour labor associated with digging the files out fee. If you think that the fees are overly large, as sometimes they are in order to discourage your information request, you can challenge the amount of the fees.
One thing you might notice if you use FOIA is that some sections of the documents you received may be blacked out. This is called ‘redacted’. Sections that are redacted are supposedly classified or security related items. If you strongly believe that things are unnecessarily redacted there are ways of challenging that.
We are using archive.org to host our documents- to see all the documents we have posted you can search for WingnutAnarchistCollective on that site. We have about 50 different documents from the Richmond Police Department posted here. Some are just a few pages, while others are significantly longer.