Richmond Copwatch will be out on Saturday, December 3rd to observe and record the police during the late night Shockoe Bottom bar/club scene. We will be meeting at 10:00pm in front of  Main Street Station (1500 East Main Street). All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Shockoe Bottom is an area known for its bars, clubs, venues, and general night life. There have been numerous reports of police violence and brutality in the crowd control tactics used by the Richmond Police Department.The new “zero tolerance” approach of the City government and Police Department seems to result in more aggressive behavior on the part of the police. The police engage in similar behavior at Shockoe Bottom on the weekends as they have during the First Fridays Art Walk- blockading streets, diverting traffic and harassing the general public. The aggressive, illegal, and unprofessional behavior of the Richmond Police Department as a whole, simply goes to show the necessity of Copwatch, and the regular observing and recording of a police force as long as one exists. Beyond that the continued violent and oppressive behavior of many members of the Richmond Police Department goes to show the systemic nature of problems with police- problems that will be solved not through reform, but through abolition. Since the Richmond Police Department has  a significant presence in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond Copwatch will be there.

We will go over some brief Know Your Rights information, and discuss the situation we will be observing. We would like to encourage folks who can to come out the day before to a Copwatch Training we will be hosting on Friday December 2nd at 6pm at Festival Park (next to the Richmond Coliseum between 5th and 7th streets). Ideally, everyone going out to Copwatch will have a theoretical training before engaging in these sometimes tense situations.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

We will be doing patrols of the Shockoe Bottom area with a focus on recording police interactions with people. This is meant to curb the level of violence in the RPD’s crowd control tactics in this area, and to ensure there is a record of evidence when police brutality and violence occurs.

Depending on the number of Copwatchers who show up, we will likely split into two or more working groups and begin patrols shortly after 10:00pm.

Come out for as much or as little of this Copwatch Patrol as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for December’s Shockoe Bottom Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

Fair warning: Copwatchers expose themselves to a certain level of legal risk and police harrassment. If, like us, you refuse to be intimidated by these thuggish oppression tactics, come and join us!

You can get in touch with Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or (804) 303-5449, or come to the Copwatch meeting on December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

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