Police in Alexandria, Virginia, arrested an officer Tuesday night whom they planned to fire for using excessive force.
Police booked Alexandria police officer Jonathan B. Griffin on a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery in connection with a January incident where a person taken into protective custody for a health evaluation was forced to the ground.
During the Jan. 27 incident, Griffin had the person in handcuffs, and the victim suffered “multiple injuries on the front of his body” as a result of Griffin’s action, according to a City of Alexandria news release.
“A subsequent investigation found that no force was necessary or justified. No weapons were involved in the incident,” the release said.
An investigation found that no force was necessary or justified, according to police.
The department put Griffin on administrative leave June 3 and notified him the termination process had started. Alexandria said it expects the termination process to be finished by mid-July.
Three supervisors who failed to investigate the use of force promptly enough have also been disciplined, according to the city.
Griffin, who was released after his arrest, will be arraigned Aug. 4, which the city said is the “standard protocol for most misdemeanor bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the risk of exposure to inmates and staff.”
Word of the decision to terminate Griffin came just days before Alexandria leaders said they would take a hard look at police practices and would re-examine their training. The department wants to make sure that officers have undergone crisis intervention training.
Currently, 60% of the department’s officers have gone through that training, aimed at reducing risk of injury or death when officers are forced to confront individuals with mental illness.
Excessive use of force by police has been called into question recently following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher contributed to this report.