2020 USE OF FORCE REPORT
This analysis will look at how and where force has been utilized as it relates to interactions with subjects by different Police Division units across the County. In this analysis the response to resistance, or use of force, was attributed to the unit that initiated the interaction or had the primary interaction that resulted in the application of force to better identify any trends within a particular unit.
Per Henrico Police policy, officers are directed to use only the force necessary to achieve the lawful objectives of the Division. An officer’s response to resistance should be objectively reasonable and he or she should consider the totality of the facts and circumstances of each incident, to include the severity of the crime, whether the suspect is posing an immediate threat or danger to himself or others, and whether the suspect is resisting arrest or attempting to evade.
Henrico Police develops and implements policies to govern the use of less-lethal weapons and ballistic shields use of force, the use of lethal force, and response to resistance, or, use of force. Every year Henrico Police conducts an analysis of use of force incidents, policies and reporting procedures.
The review and analysis of all response to resistance/use of force reports falls under the purview of the Professional Standards Section. Documentation associated with each response to resistance instance are collected and forwarded to the Commander, Quality Assurance for review. The Commander, Quality Assurance reviews submitted reports, memorandums, photographs and body worn video footage for entry into its data tracking system. If the submitted incident complies with the Division’s policies and procedures, the packet is forwarded to the Commanding Officer, Professional Standards for review. If compliance with policy and procedures is questioned, the incident is forwarded to the Commander, Internal Affairs, after being entered into its data tracking system. Once the matter is examined by the Commander, Internal Affairs, it is forwarded to the Commanding Officer, Professional Standards for review. The Commanding Officer, Professional Standards forwards all completed packets to the affected member’s Deputy Chief for review. Once the Deputy Chief completes a review of the incident, it is sent back to the Commanding Officer, Professional Standards for retention as set forth by the Library of Virginia.
During calendar year 2020, Henrico County Police Division officers responded to 138,111 calls for service and conducted 144,109 markouts. Officers reported 83 of the 282,220 calls for service or markouts resulted in use of force incidents, or approximately 0.03% of calls for service/markouts. This percentage is consistent with the previous three years analyzed. Of the 83 use of force incidents, 89 separate subjects and 151 applications of force were reported. These numbers differ as each incident can involve one or multiple subjects, with one or more officers, applying one or multiple applications of force, in an effort to achieve the Division’s lawful objective.
Time of Year
Time of year in the reporting of response to resistance showed a fairly even disbursement throughout 2020. January through March saw 25.30% (21 instances) of the response to resistance reported, while the period of April through June accounted for 21.68% (18 instances) of incidents. The period between July and September had 24.09% (20 instances) of reports and the period from October through December closed out the year with 28.91% (24 instances) of reports.
Time of Day
Officers reported more interactions requiring a response to resistance later in the day in Calendar Year 2020. The time periods between 0001 to 0600 reported 18.07% (15 instances) while 0601 to 1200 reported 14.45% (12 instances) of responses to resistance. Officers reported most of the incidents occurred in the afternoon and evening hours. During the period from 1201 to 1800 officers reported 31.32% (26 instances) incidents while they had 36.14% (30 instances) incidents between 1801 and 2400 hours.
Location and Police Sections
The application of force was primarily documented within Patrol Bureau as they responded to the majority of calls for service. Patrol West Station accounted for 30.13% (25) of response to resistance incidents, with Patrol Central Station reporting 20.48% (17) of incidents and Patrol South Station having 38.55% (32) of the incidents. The application of force by members of the School Services Unit was 3.61% (3) of incidents and were primarily to prevent the offender from assaulting other students or staff at the schools. The Special Operations Group, consisting of the Emergency Response Team’s and Civil Disturbance Team’s utilization of force, accounted for 4.82% (4) of incidents during Calendar Year 2020 which involved deploying chemical munitions to end stand offs with barricaded subjects as well as mutual aid assistance to the City of Richmond during this summer’s unrest. Officers working in an off-duty capacity accounted for 2.41% (2) of the response to resistance incidents this year. Officers assigned to the Community Policing Unit and Office of the Chief of Police accounted for 0.00% (0) of the response to resistance incidents in Calendar Year 2020.
To put these numbers in proper perspective it should be noted that during Calendar Year 2020, West Station accounted for 44.84% (61,935) of the calls for service received, 25.29% (34,928) of the calls for service occurred in Central Station and the remaining 29.87% (41,248) of the calls for service were assigned to South Station.
Per Magisterial District
The Fairfield and Varina districts had 32.53% (27 incidents) each in calendar year 2020. The Brookland district saw 19.28% of incidents (16) while the Three Chopt district accounted for 8.43% (7) incidents. The Tuckahoe district accounted for 3.61 (3). Lastly 3.61% (3) of incidents occurred in the City of Richmond as Officers provided mutual aid assistance during the civil unrest this past summer.
To put these numbers into context in Calendar Year 2020, the Varina district had 33,752 calls for service, the Fairfield District had 37,040, the Brookland District had 28,201 calls for service, Three Chopt had 21,057 calls for service and the Tuckahoe District had 16,401 calls for service. Henrico Police Division received 711 calls for service that were located within the City of Richmond during Calendar Year 2020. This translates into calls resulting in response to resistance at a rate of .07% for the Fairfield, .08% Varina district, .06% for the Brookland District, .03% for the Three Chopt district, 02% in the Tuckahoe district and 0.42% in the City of Richmond.
The subjects involved in the responses to resistance incidents varied in age from 14 to 63 years old with an average age of 31 years old. Officers reported that male subjects were primarily involved in responses to resistance instances, accounting for 86.51% (77), compared to 11.24% (10) of female subjects requiring similar responses. While responding to the call for mutual aid in the City of Richmond there were two incidents where subjects fled, and their gender was not identified representing the remaining 2.25% of incidents.
Subjects who identified as African American were involved in of 65.17% (58) of the responses to resistance incidents, while those identified as Caucasian represented 29.21% (26) of involved subjects. Subjects identifying as Hispanic were involved in 2.25% (2) of response to resistance incidents and subjects identified as Asian consisted of 1.12% (1) of the incidents reported, respectively. Subjects in 2.25% (2) incidents were not able to be identified due to fleeing officers.
Force Used & Injuries
In 2020, officers applied force 150 times as documented on the HCPD-340 form. These applications outnumber the number of incidents of force in 2020 as incidents can involve one officer applying one type of force to gain compliance, one officer applying multiple types of force within the continuum of force, multiple officers applying both singular and / or multiple types of force to gain compliance from the subjects involved. During Calendar Year 2020 officers utilized Physical Force 92 times (60.93%), Taser 12 times (7.95%), Vehicular Precision Immobilization Technique (P.I.T.) 11 times (7.28%), OC Spray 13 times (8.61%), O.C. Foggers and Pepper ball munition were applied 11 times (7.28%) each. During Calendar Year 2020, K-9 was utilized 0 times (0.00%), Baton was used 0 times (0.00%) and Tactical Devices were used 0 times (0.00%) A firearm was used 1 time (0.66%) in response to a suspect actively stabbing a victim of domestic assault.
During these response to resistance incidents subjects reported injury 45 times (54.21%) and involved officers were reported to have been injured 21 times (39.13%). The definition of injuries, for this purpose of this reporting includes pain/soreness, bruising/swelling, abrasions/lacerations, exposure to chemical agents or Taser barbs, fractures, stabbing/gunshot/puncture wounds or other injuries not listed previously.
In 2020, subjects involved in these incidents indicated their resistance to the officers was based on being wanted 9.64% (8) of the time, intoxication 36.14% (30) of the time, involved in a mental health crisis 9.64% (8) of the time and scared 10.84% (9) of the time. During 21.68% (18) of incidents officers recorded no reason provided by the subjects, and the remaining 12.05 % (10) of incidents fell into the “Other” category.
Officers’ reasoning for the application of force is examined to put each application into a better context of why it was utilized. Officer reported the primary cause for their application of force was the subject being defiant and disobeying the officers’ lawful commands in 45.78% (38) instances. Officers were assaulted in 32.53% (27) instances, while the individuals’ flight was the reason force was used in 10.84% (9) instances. Subjects being verbally abusive or threatening was the causative factors for officer to apply force in 10.84% (9) of instances. Subjects suffering from a mental health crisis that led the officers to fear for the safety of the individual or others resulted in 0.00% (0) of the applications of force in Calendar Year 2020.
2020 Use of Force Analysis Conclusion
The Henrico County Police Division saw a decrease in the number of responses to resistance incidents, but the decrease has been shown to be statistically unchanged from 2019 remaining at 0.03% of interactions with the public for the year. During the Calendar Year 2020 the Henrico County Police Division has continued to provide Fair and Impartial Policing training, C.I.T refresher training, Defensive Tactics training and E.V.O.T training. The training consisted of both initial courses for new officers and refresher training for veteran officers. This training helps to ensure officers are using the most applicable, relevant training, to not only defuse situations, where they can, but to also apply the appropriate use of force necessary to achieve their law enforcement goals. The analysis of the available data does not appear to show any concerning trends to the application of force or needs for additional training resulting from response to resistance incidents during Calendar Year 2020.