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RISE calls for federal authorities to investigate officer-involved shootings in Augusta County

Augusta County Sheriff's Office in Verona.
Augusta County Sheriff's Office in Verona.(WVIR)
Published: May. 21, 2021 at 9:10 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - RISE Organization out of Waynesboro is calling for federal authorities to investigate the recent officer-involved shootings that happened in Augusta County.

Virginia State Police is currently handling both investigations, but RISE said this is not first time concerns have been raised surrounding the sheriff’s office, and they need to take a step further.

“We need to be proactive with putting things in place to protect black lives, especially black men in this area,” Chanda McGuffin, Co-Founder of RISE, said.

McGuffin said the sheriff’s office having body cameras and establishing a citizen review board for each locality in the area would help provide transparency when incidents occur.

“They can show what happened because right now, all we have is what the police is saying. If the young man comes back and says, ‘this is what happened,’ then you have a police’s word against the victim’s word,” McGuffin said.

McGuffin said marching and protesting after someone’s life is lost is not enough, adding the community needs to stand up and speak out now.

“We’re not saying that people aren’t guilty of whatever crime they’re being stopped for or they’re being arrested for. We are saying that they must be treated with dignity and respect. They are human beings, and they have to have their day in court,” McGuffin said.

RISE said anyone who experiences police misconduct can reach out to them to get connected with the proper authorities.

“We will go to bat for them. We will contact whoever we need to. We will look into attorneys if they need an attorney. We will stand with them,” McGuffin said.

The following is a press release from RISE:

Press release sent by RISE.
Press release sent by RISE.(RISE Waynesboro)

Press release sent by RISE.(RISE Waynesboro)

Press release sent by RISE.
Press release sent by RISE.(RISE Waynesboro)

Press release sent by RISE.(RISE Waynesboro)

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