‘Little slugger’ teaches officer community policing can be painful

Posted at 6:49 AM, May 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-25 08:49:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham stressed the importance of community policing when he was named to lead the police department earlier this year. Community policing is the idea that police officers should be involved with community events and community members not just during difficult times, but all of the time.

One police officer learned community policing can be a painful practice when he came upon the birthday party for four-year-olds Tyren and Tyion Harvey Saturday night in Richmond’s Forest Hill Park, according to the twins’ uncle who recorded the interaction.

It began when the officers jumped into a game of whiffle ball with the birthday boys. The first officer’s pitch resulted in a swing and a miss. But when the second officer pitched, little slugger Tyion swung for the fences. The ball rocketed off the bat and hit the officer square in the chest. Judging by the laughter at the end of the clip, we’re going to assume everyone is ok.

WTVR CBS 6 caught up with the man who pulled out his cell phone and pressed record.

“I wanted the nation to see what Richmond Police were doing and how my nephews were interacting with them,” the twins’ uncle Jamaur Law said. “We need to bridge the gap between police and black youth.”

The Richmond Police officers who appeared in the video were surprised and pleased with their new found internet fame.

“It is kind of funny because we were shocked Sunday morning  when we found out. We had no idea we were being recorded,”  Richmond Police officer Carrie Griffith said. “It was just something we decided to do, I mean kids playing baseball in a park? How could you not want to join in?”

RPD collage

Perhaps the Richmond Flying Squirrels will see this clip and give little Tyion a try-out!