The Alexandria Police Department is seeking to fire an officer who was found to have unnecessarily used force against a man.
The officer, who the city did not name, used “weaponless force” against a man’s leg in order to take him to the ground, the city said in a statement Friday. An investigation found that the use of force was unjustified.
“Use of force is dehumanizing and should be avoided whenever possible, even when legally justified,” Chief of Police Michael Brown said in a statement. “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.”
The department declined to say when the incident occurred or whether it was caught on camera.
The commonwealth’s attorney will evaluate whether criminal charges against the officer are warranted. Three police supervisors who “failed to investigate the use of force promptly enough” were disciplined.
The department initiated termination proceedings against the officer as police nationwide receive increased scrutiny, particularly for interactions with Black people. Both the Alexandria officer and the subject are white, the department said.
Alexandria officers have used force against 37 people in 2019 and 2020 thus far, out of more than 5,500 people who were taken into custody and about 111,000 calls for service, the department said.