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Alexandria police officer dismissed over use-of-force incident

The department is also consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to determine whether criminal charges are appropriate.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An Alexandria police officer has been dismissed over a use-of-force incident. 

Police said a white male officer reported using weaponless force against a white male subject’s leg, in order to take him to the ground. 

According to their investigation, the officer applied “force” to the subject’s leg in order to take him down.

The Alexandria Police Department did not provide additional details, citing the ongoing termination process, but the department emphasized that the use of force was unnecessary.

In addition to the officer, the department says three supervisors who failed to investigate the case quickly enough have been disciplined.

“Use of force is dehumanizing and should be avoided whenever possible, even when legally justified,” Chief of Police Michael Brown said. “Unjustified use of force is completely unacceptable, and we will continue to hold officers accountable in the rare cases when violations of this policy occur. Alexandria police officers do not typically use force at all, because they are required to de-escalate interactions and situations when possible by communicating effectively with subjects, maintaining distance, and employing other measures to protect themselves and those around them.”

The department is consulting with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to determine whether criminal charges are appropriate.

Alexandria police officers have used force against 37 subjects in 2019 and 2020, out of more than 5,500 individuals taken into custody. These 37 subjects represented approximately 0.7% of those taken into custody, or 1 in 150, following nearly 111,000 calls for service. 

Firearms were only used by officers in one of the 37 cases, and most uses of force did not involve officers’ weapons at all.

RELATED: How could de-escalation change these officer-involved use of force incidents?

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