NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk Police Department is taking a step toward more transparency.
Police Chief Mike Goldsmith told city council members Monday his department will release a little more information to people who file complaints against police officers.
From now on, complainants will get a letter telling them whether internal affairs investigators found enough evidence to validate their claim. However, the chief will stop short of saying if or how an officer is disciplined.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Joe Dillard, President of the NAACP’s Norfolk Chapter. “I think it’s a good thing. More transparency from the police department in the City of Norfolk.”
Dillard said his organization and others will continue to push for more change. Meantime, he believes the new policy is better than the old one.
In the past, when people like 21-year-old Bryant Stith filed a complaint, he only received a form letter saying that internal affairs investigated and took appropriate action.
10 On Your Side talked with Stith in April, when he accused police of using excessive force and wrongfully detaining him twice in Ocean View. He showed us his chipped tooth and explained what happened when he went to police back then.
When WAVY News went back to talk with Stith Tuesday, he said we’d have to wait for his legal counsel.
A Norfolk police spokesperson said the new form letter is sitting on the chief’s desk waiting to be finalized. He promised to send it to us when its done and we will share it with you then.