General Crime

* Richmond Police Officer Dedrick Riley pleads Not Guilty to Alleged Charges that He Beat Ronald Stewart

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Editor Note: We at Fugitive Watch know that all the “hate the police” groups come out of the woodwork every time a police officer is accused of misconduct so we feel the need to remind them that Officer Dedrick Riley deserves the same right to be considered innocent as every other person  in this country. He also deserves the same right to fair trail by a jury of his peers and to not be tried and convicted by a lynch mob or because of a threat of mob violence.

News Article: Richmond police Officer Dedrick Riley pleaded not guilty today to charges that he assaulted and beat a suspect during an arrest in March and then filed a false report on the incident. On March 7, Riley, 39, allegedly beat Ronald Stewart “under color of authority and without lawful necessity,” according to the charges.  He also allegedly “knowingly and intentionally” filed a false
report on the incident. Both charges are felonies. A third charge of misdemeanor battery was also filed against him. Stewart has not been charged with any crime, according to court records. He did not sustain any visible injuries from the alleged attack and
did not require any medical attention, according to reports. Several Richmond police officers, including the president of the
Richmond Peace Officers Association, came to Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez to show their support for Riley during the brief hearing today. “Friends and colleagues came here because they know Mr. Riley is a hard worker and a good man and they are here to ensure that justice is done in this case,” Riley’s attorney Harry Stern said outside the courtroom.  He said his goal is to make sure that Riley’s good name is cleared. Ken Nelson, president of the Richmond branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, attended the hearing as well. Nelson said that he and his colleagues at the NAACP suspect that the decision to bring the case against Riley, who is black, to the district attorney’s office was racially motivated. He said white officers in the department have committed far more egregious acts of battery on suspects and have not been prosecuted for them. Police Chief Chris Magnus said last week that he was prohibited on commenting on the incident because it is a personnel matter, but confirmed that the district attorney’s office conducted it’s own investigation into the allegations. “Officer Riley is an excellent police officer who has made a difference in a lot of people’s lives in inner Richmond,” Sgt. Andre Hill, president of the Richmond Peace Officers Association, said. He said he believed the investigation had been rushed and Riley
should not have been in court today. According to court records, Riley had been fired from the police force for a similar incident in 2006 in which he allegedly failed to report his use of force against different suspect during a March 26, 2006, incident. That incident happened at Serrano’s Bakery on 23rd Street in Richmond. The owner’s daughter, Veronica Serrano, had gotten to work early that morning and found a local homeless man, Deganjara “Dave” Evans sitting at the counter inside the bakery. He appeared to be sleeping, according to court records. When Serrano woke him and told him he couldn’t sleep there, Evans
allegedly responded negatively and the two began arguing. As the argument escalated, the two began shouting at each other
and Serrano called police, according to court records. Riley and Officer Robert Garcia, a new officer, were at a nearby gas station when the call came in. When they arrived at the bakery, Evans and Serrano were outside arguing.  The officers separated the two and were escorting Evans away when he allegedly spun around suddenly to face Serrano, according to court records. Serrano said later that the officers ordered Evans to get down on the ground, but he resisted and then Riley struck him three times on the leg
with an object, possibly his baton. However, Riley denied hitting Evans and said that he and Evans had lost their balance during the struggle and fell on the ground. Garcia said he didn’t see Riley strike Evans. Evans said Riley had struck him twice, once on the shoulder and once on the leg, according to court records. An internal affairs investigation concluded that there was evidence that Riley struck Evans and that his use of force was appropriate in that situation, but that he was untruthful about his use of force, which is against departmental policy. Riley was fired from the police force, but filed a civil suit and later got his job back with back pay. He then filed a second complaint alleging that he had been subjected to racial discrimination and a hostile work environment while working at the Police Department, but a judge dismissed the case, according to court records. Riley is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 5 to set a date for a preliminary hearing on the current charges.

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