A Richmond police officer has “rescinded” his promise to deliver a public apology after he was caught on video cursing at a group of Black middle school students in March.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the officer, whose name has yet to be released, does not feel comfortable apologizing in front of the entire school during an assembly at Albert Hill Middle School, according to Richmond Police Chief, William C. Smith.
Smith said the officer met with the three students who were threatened and their parents to apologize to them last week. He also signed an agreement that he would address the student body about the incident during the meeting.
“But, since then, he has reconsidered that promise and no longer feels he could handle the much larger setting of a school assembly,” Smith said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“He wants me to pass along his sincere apology for what he said that day and add another apology for not being able to meet with the entire school,” Smith added. “I believe that if there is any good that has come out of this, it is that the Richmond Police Department has developed a stronger, much more positive and hopeful ongoing relationship with Albert Hill Middle School.”
School official, Ram Bhagat, who attended the meeting said on Tuesday that it is important to focus on the positive outcomes from the meetup.
“We need to keep working together as a community to build trusting relationships,” said Bhagat, the manager of school climate and culture strategy for Richmond Public Schools. “We left with one expectation and there’s so much we gained from it. We should really focus on what we gained from it, especially for the students.”
The video of the incident taken by student, Cameron Hilliard, shows the officer telling the students, “wait until your asses turn 18, then you’re mine,” outside of the school, according to Fox News.
Hilliard said the officer made the comment after someone yelled, F— the police.”
The 15-year veteran was removed from patrol where the school is located in the Museum District neighborhood in Richmond. He is also facing remedial training and unspecified punishment, according to reports.