The Richmond Police Department thwarted a mass shooting of Virginians on July 4 by two men who were in the U.S. illegally. Their plans, which were unknown to the Department of Homeland Security – the agency tasked with preventing terrorist attacks – were thwarted by an anonymous tipster who called the police.
Republican Gov. Glen Youngkin called the tipster a “hero.”
The City of Richmond’s Task Force To Reimagine Public Safety released its final report on Monday, after three months of meetings. The task force issued several recommendations focused on using community resources more and law enforcement less. Those recommendations include a new 911 system to triage non-criminal calls away from law enforcement and reducing police funding to send more resources to other agencies. However, Mayor Levar Stoney is not implementing the policies exactly as recommended.
Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith announced 24 homicides occurred July 1 through September 3, a 60 percent increase compared with the same period in 2019. In Smith’s quarterly report violent crime overall was up four percent. Cases of arson were up by 17 percent, for a total of 21.
“After the civil unrest we still have experienced some arsons,” Smith said. Smith was hired at the beginning of July after downtown Richmond suffered violent protests.