Oct 25, 2022 - News

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith resigns

Gerald Smith

Gerald Smith. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith resigned Tuesday evening, bringing an end to a two-and-a-half-year stint that saw his department face scrutiny, the city announced in a news release.

Why it matters: Smith was in the hot seat after a dubious claim that his department foiled a July Fourth mass shooting. He and Mayor Levar Stoney's administration have faced widespread criticism for the way they've handled the issue.

  • Some city council members had also expressed concerns about crime and morale within the department, WRIC reported earlier Tuesday, with member Reva Trammel calling for Smith to step down.

What's happening: Smith has been placed on administrative leave through the end of the year. Major Richard Edwards will serve as acting chief while the city searches for Smith's replacement.

  • The city said Mayor Levar Stoney asked his Chief Administrative Officer Lincoln Saunders to start a national search for the next chief, "which will take time and due diligence."

What they're saying: "We would like to thank Chief Smith for his service in law enforcement and wish him well in his future endeavors," the city wrote in the release.

Richmond Coalition of Police President Brendan Leavy said RPD is entering its "next chapter" following Smith's resignation, which it had called for in 2021.

  • "We look forward to working with the administration, city council and its citizens on the future success and we would like to thank all of them for listening to the men and women of the Richmond Police Department. We are embracing moving forward with the New Interim Chief and eager to have an open dialogue with all stakeholders."

Go deeper: RPD’s misleading mass shooting narrative unravels


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