Slices of life and scenes in Richmond
4/23/2020, 6 p.m.
These two views document that mask wearing and social distancing do not appear to be common practices among some Richmond Police officers. These disparate photos of officers were taken Friday, April 10, as activists rallied by car and on foot in front of the Richmond Justice Center to call for the release of nonviolent prisoners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside. The protesters all wore masks, the photographer noted. Richmond Police Chief Will Smith told the Free Press last week that officers are advised to wear masks if called to a scene where they are notified that someone has the disease or has possible symptoms. Otherwise, he said, each officer has discretion as to whether to wear a mask. He said he has not issued any standing orders on the subject. On April 6, Gov. Ralph S. Northam recommended that Virginians wear face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. He cited guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that a face covering offers some level of protection against the spread of the coronavirus from airborne droplets as a person talks, coughs or sneezes.