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Monday, January 26, 2009

[VA] Keeping policework painfully professional in Newport News Virginia

...Officer Christopher Miner was arrested after what police call a "social evening"... A couple of weeks before this incident, a Newport News police lieutenant was arrested in York County after he "attempted to force himself" on a woman he knew...
..."We want to make sure that first and foremost that justice is served for the victim and second of all, a person that does this type of crime does not need to be wearing a badge”...

All officers are feeling the pain of the recent incidents, chief says.

Daily Press, VA - Jan 24, 2009
January 24, 2009
[Excerpts] The arrests of three Newport News police officers personally hurt Police Chief James Fox, but he said the incidents highlight the department's culture of transparency. Years ago, rather than dealing with issues openly, police departments would have likely covered up incidents like the ones that have plagued the department recently, the police chief said Friday during a media briefing... On Dec. 29 in York County, Newport News police Lt. Ronald M. Hendrickson was charged with three felonies: abduction, abduction with intent to defile and animate object penetration, along with misdemeanor sexual battery. And this month, Officer Christopher E. Miner was arrested on an abduction charge and placed on administrative leave... "When the incidents happened, it really hurt because I wear this," Fox said, pointing to his police badge. "We feel the hurt when someone does something wrong. But I think the organization knows (that) as the chief, I have to deal with the facts... When one does something wrong on a team like this where we all wear the same uniform, carry the same badge... the ones that care respond the same way as I do. They get disappointed... it really hurts. Then they talk about it and say we have to move on." Training new recruits plays a part in ensuring problems don't continue"... [Assistant Chief Joe] Moore said. "In some ways, it's good because it makes you look at what you are doing and how can we tighten up. There are lessons learned from everything." And Fox said he's told new recruits that if they fail to report even minor indiscretions, they'd be fired. "It's a trust issue. Trust's the most critical thing," he said. "It's critical in a city like this. Police departments that aren't trusted aren't going to be effective," Fox said. But the worst thing that could happen is if police "try to play games" and cover up incidents, he said... "The most discouraging part of it is we know we have 400 and some officers who are outstanding officers... They are working very hard and doing a good job, and generally that kind of work goes unnoticed. What overshadows that is when one of these unfortunate incidents happens and we all bear the shame of it." [Full article here]

Daily Press, VA
Tamara Dietrich
January 23, 2009
[Excerpts] The good news is that Newport News has been a safer place lately. The bad news is that it might have been safer still, if not for some embarrassing escapades by city police officers... Nearly two weeks ago, for instance, Officer Christopher E. Miner, 37, was arrested after what police call a "social evening"... "completely exonerated." Perhaps so. It might also render him a date-free zone for a while... A couple of weeks before this incident, a Newport News police lieutenant was arrested in York County after he "attempted to force himself" on a woman he knew, an investigator says. Lt. Ronald M. Hendrickson, 47, of Yorktown faces felony charges of abduction, abduction with intent to defile and animate object penetration, plus misdemeanor sexual battery. Both Miner and Hendrickson are out on bail and under paid administrative leave till their cases are resolved... And we, the public, must also bear in mind that police officers aren't angels, but flesh-and-blood people in uniform. Subject to the same failings and foibles as anyone, the same capacity for great good and otherwise... [Full article here]

Christopher E. Miner is the second NN officer accused of abduction in two weeks.

Daily Press, VA
By DAN PARSONS | 247-7840
January 12, 2009
[Excerpts] The Newport News Police Department arrested one of its own Sunday — the second arrest of a city police officer on abduction charges in two weeks. Officer Christopher E. Miner, 37, of the 700 block of Harpersville Road was arrested Sunday morning and placed in the Newport News City Jail. In a press release this morning, police spokesman Lou Thurston said the victim told officers that while she was "spending a social evening" with Miner, the officer refuse to let her leave his residence. The 27-year-old woman says she was in Miner's room when he allegedly jumped into bed with her. She says he started touching her, and tied her up with leather and chain restraints from his headboard. The woman also claims Miner took a picture of her and threatened to post it on-line if she left. The woman says she tried to escape but Miner kept her from leaving, blocking the door. Eventually she says he let her go, which is when she called police. Miner was arraigned Monday morning, and bond has been set for $10,000... Hendrickson's next court date is a preliminary hearing set for March 19 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He remains on administrative leave with pay while an internal investigation is conducted... [Full article here]


December 31, 2008 by privateofficernews
YORK COUNTY, Va. Dec 31 2008
[Excerpts] Newport News Police Lieutenant Ronald Hendrickson was arrested by the York-Porquoson Sheriff’s Office Tuesday. Sgt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office tells WAVY.com that Hendrickson was arrested in the early morning hours on December 26. Ivey says another individual called the Sheriff’s office to report the crime. “It’s difficult for victims to come forward a lot of times. She did cooperate with the investigation, but it is difficult and it’s not uncommon for a victim to report third party. That’s something that’s not uncommon at all,” says Ivey. Deputies began to investigate and after interviewing the alleged victim and Hendrickson, IVEY SAYS DETECTIVES DETERMINED A CRIME OCCURRED. “Several of the charges are sexual in nature. There’s two abduction charges, one sexual battery charge, and a sexual object penetration charge,” says Ivey. The alleged victim is an 18-year-old, who according to Ivey, was not physically hurt. Hendrickson is currently on administrative leave, according to Newport News Police Spokesperson Lou Thurston. Thurston added that an internal investigation is ongoing... “It’s extremely difficult... I was involved in the investigation, as well as my Lieutenant, as well as one other investigator and I actually knew this person, not well, but had known him over the years. Even though he does wear the same badge that we do, I have to set that aside because the victim is our first concern and to make sure that justice is served. I mean it doesn’t matter that he wears a badge. We’re going to investigate it and we did investigate it vigorously…We want to make sure that first and foremost that justice is served for the victim and second of all, a person that does this type of crime does not need to be wearing a badge.” Hendrickson is currently being held without bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. “He has to be in isolation protective custody due to his status, which we made sure that we communicated very well with the regional jail and they’ve been very accommodating to make sure, we want to make sure that he’s protected,” says Ivey. [Full article here]


  1. 6 days before this man was supposed to get his day in court, the Newport News judges have recused themselves from hearing the case. Officer Miner has been on house arrest for almost 8 months, paying $105 a week, for crimes that he did not commit. When are they going to be done playing with this mans life? Give him his day in court.

  2. That's fair. Professionalism should include letting him go to court.

  3. I've got some bad news for you. The Special Victims Unit doesn't bother taking out warrants on someone unless they are certain that person is guilty.

  4. Officer Milner was acquitted on February 23, 2010.

  5. Miner was tried by jury and acquitted.

    One jury member said "I was flabbergasted that the case got this far. There was no proof that any of it happened. Nothing."

    Another said the prosecution "wasted a year of (Miner's) life, and two days of my life."

    Other jurors were quoted as saying the prosecution "failed to bring the evidence" and that it was a case of "he said, she said".

  6. Officer Miner, who had been fired over these allegations, was reinstated as a Senior Police Officer on March 5, 2010. He will receive back pay.

  7. Ow.
    I posted when he was acquitted.
    I guess it's time to update.
    I really really appreciate you updating me.

  8. Newport News Police Chief Fox said he DID NOT reinstate Christopher Miner. By Chief Fox's own admission, Neil Morgan, of the Newport News City Managers office, denies that Miner appealed to his office, in reference to being reinstated. The Mayor of Newport News was advised, by victim Gamble, that Chief Fox stated, "Miner appealed to City Manager, Neil Morgan",as to "go above Fox's head." However, apparently, Chief Fox lied, and Asst City Manager Rohlf, while in "co-hoots" with Chief Fox, they conspired to reinstate Christopher E. Miner. Marinate on this......If Miner was terminated based upon the investigation findings of their own Internal Affairs Unit, prior to court proceedings, why, then, shall Miner be reinstated based upon court findings?

    Georgette Phillips, of the Isle of White Commonwealth'sAttorney's Office, at that time, had only been with the Commonwealth for, approxmiately 3 years. As well, she had only been practicing law for, appromiately, 8 years. Why in the world would she be assigned to these cases? Conspiracy? Why would someone of such little experience be assigned to two victims of an officer? Phillips is, one of THREE, Commonwealth's Attorney's, for the county of Isle of Wight,VA.

    Is there, in fact, a conspiracy happening? Why in the world, would a special prosecutor from Isle of Wight be assigned? Phillips, special prosecutor, demonostrated minimal experience and postured a lack of knowledge, required of her, as a prosecutor.

    It seems as though she was "hand picked," in my not so professional, and perhaps, not so accurate, opinion..... The Commonwealth's explanatiton is that, "There is a rotation of of assignments," when it comes to alternation of Special Prosecutors. It just so happens that Isle of Wight, while only employeeing 3 Commonweath Attorney's, was assigned to both victims' cases. Why is that????

    Common knowledge......phillips, the special prosecutor, had been with the commonwealth for a short period of time....less than three years. Should cases of this magnitude be assigned to such inexperienced prosecutor's?


  9. February 26, 2010
    [VA] Ex-Officer Miner, now acquitted both of raping one date and attempting to defile another date, wants his job back


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