The Roanoke County Police department says it understands the concerns raised by the local NAACP chapter concerning the death of Kionte Spencer – but certain details will remain underwraps for now as WFIR’s Gene Marrano reports:
Roanoke County Police statement: In response to the NAACP press conference Tuesday afternoon, the Roanoke County Police Department is offering this statement. We acknowledge and appreciate the concerns of President Brenda Hale of the Roanoke Branch of the NAACP. We also acknowledge that a tragic event such as the one that occurred last Friday night raises concerns within our community.
In the course of any criminal investigation, there is information that can be publicly provided and some that cannot. In Roanoke County, when information is withheld from the public, it is done so in the interest of ascertaining facts in an environment free of speculation and opinion. The Roanoke County Police will, without question, complete a thorough and unbiased investigation into the circumstances that resulted in the death of Kionte Spencer. Further, the results of this investigation and all the materials relevant to the investigation will be delivered to the Commonwealth’s Attorney for his independent review.
(Continue reading for the rest of the statement)
Transparency is very important to us which is why we provided to the media preliminary information and photos from our officers’ dash camera video. We cannot and will not provide additional, detailed information that has the potential to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.
There are calls to reveal the names of Officers involved in this event. We will not do so at this time. The Officers involved are essential to the investigatory process that is underway. There is no discernible benefit to exposing Officers to unwarranted speculation while the facts related to the incident are yet to be fully known.
Every day officers are faced with challenging situations in protecting the community. Every effort is made to avoid outcomes such as this one. It is always tragic when a police officer has to use force that results in the loss of life. The Roanoke County Police Department respects that others have opinions as to what may have happened on the night of February 26. Conjecture, however, is no substitute for fact. We simply ask that our citizens and our community reserve judgment until the facts are in evidence and the truth is fully known. We appreciate the message of support from many of our citizens.