As the first shoe to fall from the active Richmond Police Department investigation arising from the "Celeste Guap" scandal, Police Chief Allwyn Brown announced that he has evaluated the logic of continuing two of the named employees in their current assignments whose functions involve regular interactions with young people.
- Lieutenant Andre Hill has been removed from his assignment as a manager over the Youth and Special Services Division.
- Officer Jerrod Tong had already voluntarily stepped down from his collateral duty on the Explorer advisor team. School is not currently in session, and it was not and is not Chief Brown’s intention to have him continue in that capacity at the start of the new school year. He has been removed from his assignment as a school resource officer.
The Richmond Police Department Office of Professional Accountability continues to investigate the actions of our police officers and the nature of their individual relationships with the witness "Guap." The investigation is moving, albeit not as quickly as Chief Brown would like. So far, there are no early indications of illegal, predatory or like deviant behavior in the performance of duty that suggests the public at large is at risk. Chief Brown will individually reevaluate the standing of each employee who is a subject of this investigation as new information comes in, as he gathers new facts and/or if circumstances change.
Chief Brown cannot move on disciplinary action until investigations that sustain wrongdoing and support it are complete. He will take the appropriate actions at that time.
Chief Brown hopes to protect the confidentiality and the fairness of the investigative process as it continues, avoiding public debate or discussion as much as possible so as to not further disrupt investigative efforts and to prevent any breach of legal confidences.
Police officers are held to a higher standard with regard to both their personal and professional behavior because the nature of their duties require the public’s trust. Integrity is indispensable to the position of police officer. Chief Brown is taking these matters seriously and will take decisive action on any police conduct that carries harm to the public service.