Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Three Richmond Officer Charged with Covering up Crime

Three Richmond police officers charged with a crime. Now the Commonwealth's Attorney is admitting his office made mistakes handling the case.

It all stems from a Shockoe Bottom bar fight nearly one year ago. Now a special prosecutor is being asked to figure out whether two Richmond police officers covered up a crime for a brother in blue. And whether one of the City's top lawyers broke the law while handling this case.

According to court papers, off-duty Richmond Police Officer Ian McCloskey got mad at an ex-girlfriend inside "Wonderland Bar" and hits a man sitting with her. Two police officers respond.

They're now accused of filing an incomplete report -- covering up what happened. And allowing McCloskey intimidate witnesses.

When the fight came to light, McCloskey should have been charged with a felony in the courts but he wasn't...

"The average citizen would have likely been staring at felony exposure for that assault. That is something that we should not have allowed to happen. I should not have allowed my subordinates to go forward on a misdemeanor charge," says Mike Herring, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney.

And Herring says, according the law, police officers charged with a misdemeanor cannot pay an accuser's medical bill, a fact that Herring says no one was aware of.

Now, Herring is hiring a special prosecutor to come in and take over this case.

" But it doesn't look right to people to know a police officer is covering up an illegal action by another police officer regardless of how benign it may be," says Herring.

Now we spoke to the Richmond Police Department to find out if those three officers are working out on the streets, but they said they can't tell us because it's a personnel matter.

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