LPD Response Triggers Community Outcry

Lynchburg, VA - Residents of a street in the lower Rivermont area raised questions about a recent response to an incident by Lynchburg Police.The incident involved a 14 and 11 year old and their parents claim police used entirely too much force. From witness accounts, police responded to the call with weapons drawn.A 14-year-old wound up with a broken rib according to the parents and an 11-year-old, they say, was tackled to the ground.14 year old, Shawndez Davis, can recount every moment he says played out on July 21st."Once they aimed the gun at my Mom, they said, 'empty yall's pockets'" he said."The rest of the cops thought I hit him or something and they came and dove on me and they kneed me in my rib" said Davis.He claims Lynchburg Police responded to a call with way too much force.His mother, Unita Carter claims she was bit by a neighbor's dog and an exchange of words led to the neighbor calling police.When they arrived, "The police aimed the gun at everybody standing right there, it was children and everything. Younger children, 3 and 4, my children" said Carter.Davis and another 11 year old girl, Carter claims, were tackled to the ground.One week later, Carter's neighbors, family, and friends gather to pray for what they call peaceful police solutions."The LPD showed up and drew guns out on basically some babies" said B.B. Shavers.Shavers, founder of the SHOPO youth foundation, organized Monday night's event. He doesn't blame police for anything. He hopes though, they would take a more practical approach in his hometown community."It's a challenge to us to be able to tell the community that the police is here to protect and serve us, when you're going to have parents sit there and say well the police draw guns on our kids" he said.The Chief of the Lynchburg Police Department released this statement Monday about the response:The Lynchburg Police Department has received media inquiries today regarding our response to two incidents that occurred in the vicinity of the 900 block of Cabell Street on July 21, 2014 between 11:05 p.m. and 11:50 p.m. The natures of these calls were as follows: A person reported being bitten by a neighbor's dog. The dog owners reported being threatened by the person who claimed to have been bitten by their dog. The suspect was reportedly armed with a handgun. Officers responding to the area at 11:50 p.m. located the person reported to have made threats and determined that the suspect was not armed at that time. During that contact, officers were forced to temporarily restrain a person (later identified as a 14 year old juvenile) who displayed threatening behavior toward them. Officers did not utilize tasers during this incident response. No arrests were made by officers. The juvenile restrained by officers sustained minor abrasions to the knee and foot. No serious injury was reported to officers or observed by officers. No medical attention was requested by the juvenile or by the juvenile's guardian. The persons involved in the neighborhood dispute were advised how to file charges if they wish to do so. All LPD use of force incidents are investigated by command staff members as standard operational procedure. That use of force investigation is ongoing in this case.The information available at this time indicates that officers acted within LPD policy and procedure in responding to these incidents.Parks H. Snead Chief of Police
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