RICHMOND (KRON) — On Friday Richmond Police Department announced the extent of disciplinary actions to be recommended in the case involving improper conduct by police personnel related to the adult female teenager Jasmine Abuslin, who formerly self-identified as “Celeste Guap.”
The proposed disciplinary actions follow a thorough investigation that complied with the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights (PBOR). This investigation involved an examination of over 10,000 text messages and cellular phone records, over 5,000 social media pages, and contact with 45 individuals. Investigators logged 750 work hours in completing the investigation, including 13 hours of recorded, voluntary testimony from the teenage witness over the course of five interview sessions.
The final investigative report contains 275 pages of findings.
The Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability, which led the investigation, identified eleven current and former police personnel that were involved in misconduct. As a result of this misconduct, disciplinary actions are being recommended as follows:
• One officer is proposed to be terminated from employment;
• One officer is proposed to be demoted;
• Two officers are proposed to be suspended, one for 80 hours, and the other for 120 hours;
• Five officers are proposed to receive letters of reprimand.
It should be noted that two officers had separated from City service prior to the investigation for reasons unconnected with the misconduct. It must also be noted that the law does not allow the City of Richmond to release the specific names associated with these recommended disciplinary actions.
The notices of disciplinary actions have now been served to the involved officers by the City of Richmond Human Resources Department. The remaining steps in the disciplinary process, which are in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Officers Association, are as follows:
• Each police officer has ten (10) days from receipt of the notice of proposed discipline to request a private hearing.
• Following this private hearing, the hearing officer(s), who will be Richmond Police Chief Allwyn, will issue a recommendation to the City Manager. The recommendation may be to either uphold the level of discipline which is outlined in the notice, reduce the level of discipline, or to not impose any discipline whatsoever.
• The City Manager, after receiving initial notice of the proposed disciplinary action, receiving the hearing officers’ recommendations, and reviewing any other pertinent information, determines the final level of discipline to be imposed and notifies the affected police officer.
• Once the City Manager advises the police officer of the final level of discipline, the police officer has fourteen (14) calendar days to grieve the discipline, which may include a request for binding arbitration.
According to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt: “The City of Richmond has worked very hard to make the Richmond Police Department a national model for community- involved policing. I am both disappointed and outraged that the individual behavior of some Richmond police officers has brought discredit to the department and serves to undermine community trust. I know that this outrage is shared by my colleagues on the Richmond City Council.”
“I am sorry that the misconduct of these individuals has brought embarrassment to the City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Department,” stated Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown. “Police officers must be held to a higher standard with regard to their personal and professional conduct because their effectiveness in serving the community depends on the public’s trust. Integrity is indispensable to the position of police officer, and a breach of that integrity will not be tolerated at the Richmond Police Department.”
The Richmond Police Department has been purposeful in trying to protect the human dignity of the teenage witness since the investigation was opened. The Department will not comment on matters that are covered by privacy protections guaranteed by law, and specific privacy protections that cover victims of crimes.
Mayor Butt added: “I am confident that the Chief of Police, the City Manager and Office of Professional Accountability have done a thorough job and we are glad to put this investigation behind us. In terms of discipline for the officers, this marks the beginning of a process which will continue to unfold.”