A letter to The chief of Police
Posted in A letter To the Chief of Police Chesterfield County VA on June 13, 2009 by Donte Russo
Colonel Thierry G. Dupuis
Chief of Police
Chesterfield County VA
1001 Iron Bridge Road
P.O. Box 148
Chesterfield VA 23832-0148
RE: Complaint No.
Dear Chief Dupuis,
I am writing you concerning the above-mentioned complaint. I received a letter from the Department of Professional Standards dated April 13, 2009 stating that the department’s determination in the investigation of my complaint was that “no procedural violations had occurred.”.
However, I am not satisfied with the conclusion of the department. This finding of the department is extremely vague, and generalized, with no explanations of the specific issues brought up in my complaint. I feel there must be some sort of misunderstanding of my complaint. I believe that the findings of the Office of Professional Standards should be voided for its vagueness, as it addressed none of the serious constitutional violations involved in my case. Nor did it address the violations of the procedural guidelines provided by The Department of Criminal Justice Services by the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. in reference to my case, and its specific circumstances. Perhaps, this will get to the bottom of whether Officer xxxx actions were indeed lawful, and whether his failure to perform certain duties constituted negligence. Also, the agency can oversee how thorough your investigation of my case was, and how your department handled my complaint as well.
To refresh your memory of my complaint, I am listing below the specific concerns I brought up concerning the handling of my case by Officer xxxx I have informed the Department of Justice of these facts as well.
1. Officer xxx obtained an arrest warrant based on an affidavit, now determined to be non-existent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County. Obviously, if this affidavit contained errors and omissions in relation to establishing probable cause, it would invalidate my arrest. This affidavit, if it existed, has mysteriously disappeared from the court’s records.
2. The party complaining to officer xxxx, when he got the warrant, was a principle participant in a felonious assault against me by xxx xxxx. is now charged with malicious wounding in my case, and was arrested by Detective xxxx on 0/0/09. Officer xxx ignored the fact that I had been assaulted by xxxx
3. Ignoring the guidelines set forth by the Virginia Department
of Criminal Justice Services, as well as well established police procedures,
Officer never took a statement from the victim (myself), who was
viciously beaten to the ground, with a pipe and chain, and almost killed by the assailant,
xxx xxx Rather, he arrested the victim for defending himself with Mace, which
Is legal according to the Code of Virginia (18.2-312).
3. Officer xxxx failure to properly investigate the incident resulted in ignoring the facts of the case xxxx assault on me was in retaliation for having been an informant for
the A.T.F. concerning his illegal activities involving drugs and guns. xxx also ignored my right to defend myself from an armed assailant, which was my lawful right.
4. Officer xxx failed to take a written statement from an eyewitness, xxxxxx,
who was also assaulted at the time of the incident. Although Ms. xxxxx attempted to give Officer xxx a statement several times, she was told each time that he did not have the proper forms available. He avoided her entirely, which was clearly negligence, if not
5. Officer xxxt claimed that he had “Two hidden witnesses”, none of whom
ever materialized, and none of whom was ever present in court. These phantom witnesses apparently vanished from sight, just like the affidavit obtained for my arrest warrant vanished from the folder at the Chesterfield Circuit Court, and just as the proper forms for taking a witness statement vanished from Officer xxxx’s vicinity.
In fact, everything Officer xxxxx touches seems to conveniently vanish. He seems want to perform like a magic man Perhaps, he should have become a magician instead of a police officer. Hopefully, the Department of Justice will make some of these lost items reappear after a thorough investigation. I think they will agree that magic has no place in procedural law. I do not approve of how Officer xxxx handled my case, and I do not agree with the findings of the Department of Professional Standards in regard to my complaint. Making pertinent information conveniently disappear might be perceived by the Department of Justice as an evasive practice.
However, Detective xxxxxx who finally arrested my assailant after I identified him in a line-up, should be individually commended for her excellent work, and her proper investigation
methods in my case. Albeit at a much later date, the facts of the case finally came to light during her investigation. In spite of Officer xxxx’s magical efforts to make the truth disappear, xxxx is charged with malicious wounding. I hope that justice will be served at last.
Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice services
AMENDS/SUPERSEDES: GO 2-14,
Chief of Police/Sheriff
VLEPSC STANDARDS: OPR.02.01-.06
This order is for internal use only, and does not enlarge an officer’s civil or criminal liability in any way. It should not be construed as the creation of a higher standard of safety or care in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third-party claims. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by this department, and then only in a non-judicial administrative setting.
Commonwealth’s attorney; relationship with
Disposition of cases
Information; sources of
The primary purpose of an investigation is to collect facts leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of an offender and to organize and present the facts for a successful prosecution. The single most important criterion which determines a successful investigation is correctly obtaining and handling information supplied by a victim or witness after the crime. The department expects officers to treat investigations as a skill developed through training and experience, a skill that demands intelligence, logic, and discipline.
To establish guidelines for the general conduct of preliminary and follow-up investigations.
PROCEDURES – PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIONS
The preliminary investigation begins when the first officer arrives at the scene of a crime (or a citizen requests help) and continues until a specialized investigator intervenes.
Officers who first arrive at a possible crime scene must take care not to enter hastily. The crime scene may pose a threat to the officer: an armed suspect may still be at the scene; toxic chemicals or infectious materials may be present; or evidence may be destroyed if the officer enters. When practicable, officers shall first note the total environment of the scene including, for example, whether doors and windows are open or closed, lights on or off, presence of odors, and the condition and circumstances of the victim.
C. After forming an impression of the entire scene and ensuring that no threat exists, the officer shall proceed with the preliminary investigation which consists of, but is not limited to, the following activities:
1. Providing aid to the injured.
2. Defining the boundaries of and protecting the crime scene to ensure that evidence is not lost or contaminated. Erect barricade tape, rope, or cordon off the immediate crime scene. Record any alterations to the crime scene because of emergency assistance, the immediate necessity to handle evidence, or the actions of witnesses, victims, or suspects at the scene.
3. Determining if an offense has actually been committed and, if so, the exact nature of the offense.
4. Determining the identity of the suspect or suspects and making an arrest if it can be accomplished either at the scene or through immediate pursuit.
5. Furnishing other officers with descriptions, method, and direction of flight of suspects, and other relevant information concerning wanted suspects or vehicles.
6. Determining the identity of all witnesses.
7. Collecting evidence. Unless exigent circumstances exist or a supervisory officer so orders, officers conducting a preliminary investigation shall not collect evidence at major crime scenes. When appropriate, officers shall gather document evidence, taking care to maintain the chain of custody.
8. Obtaining written statements from the victim, witnesses, and suspects.
9. Arranging for follow-up surveillance of the crime scene, if appropriate.
10. Accurately and completely recording all pertinent information on the prescribed report forms.
The initial stages of all preliminary investigations, including crime scene processing, shall be conducted by patrol officers.
In certain serious crimes as defined in Section IV of this general order investigators shall assume responsibility for completion of the investigation.