A Tuesday protest against police brutality in the San Francisco bay area received support from an unlikely source: the police chief himself. Chris Magnus, Chief of police in Richmond, California, who has in the past been accused of racial discrimination, stood in line with other protesters holding a sign with the popular Twitter hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter.”
The local Contra Costa Times reported that Chief Magnus joined nearly 100 protesters on Richmond’s Macdonald Avenue. A stereo played speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. while protest ralliers cried into megaphones. Magnus is acclaimed in the region for driving down both crime and the use of force.
Chris hoped that the protest would draw both the police force and the neighboring community together.
“I spoke with my command staff, and we agreed it would be nice to convey our commitment to peaceful protest and that black and brown lives do matter. And to help bridge the gap that we understand sometimes exists between police and community around certain issues.”
Even local residents like Mary Square were stunned to see a police chief involved.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, not in Richmond, not anywhere. All these police, and the police chief, holding signs calling for an end to police violence. I’m going to tell my kids.”
In 2007, a racial discrimination charge was filed against Magnus, reports the Richmond Confidential. Seven African American police officers filed a suit against the police chief. They claimed that Chris determined promotions based upon racial lines. Magnus was cleared of all charges in 2012 when the suit appeared in federal court.
It seems that the police chief has emerged from the allegations determined to improve police and community relations in Richmond and the nation. The Richmond Standard reports that Chief Magnus was also chosen in September for a seven-person panel to assist the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to probe the Ferguson unrest.
The Richmond police department has only experienced one fatality in the past seven years. Magnus is considered to be one of the major driving forces behind this success.
“Magnus’ community policing strategies, which include a focus on transparency and community dialogue, have been heralded for improving relations between officers and Richmond residents, and are credited with a significant reduction in violent crimes in recent years.”
Other protests in the San Francisco area have experienced violence, as recently covered by the Inquisitr. A peaceful protester was hit in the head Tuesday night with a non-lethal round and was transported to the hospital.
[Photo Source: ABC News]