Appeals court rules against protection for Richmond top cop

RICHMOND, Va. — A jury will determine if the new police chief in Richmond acted with malice when he ordered the detention of a mother on a charge of child abuse for briefly leaving her children unattended in a car while seeking directions to a birthday party.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the N.C. Court of Appeals this week overturned the “public official immunity” that a lower court granted Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith, who is Black, protecting him from liability in a civil lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges “angry, aggressive and hostile” behavior toward the woman, who is white, that “stemmed at least in part from racial or socioeconomic biases.”

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