FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2020
On March 3, 2020, three Charlottesville Police Department officers responded to a reported disorder at 762 Prospect Avenue. Two Charlottesville residents were arrested at the scene; one for Drunk in Public (18.2-388) and Obstruction of Justice (18.2-460), and the other for a warrant out of another jurisdiction.
The drunk in public and obstruction of justice charges were tried in Charlottesville General District Court on July 24, 2020. The defendant was found not guilty. Body camera footage was shown during the trial.
Shortly after the not guilty verdict, a complaint was filed with the Charlottesville Police Department concerning the actions of the three officers, based on observations of the body camera footage played in court. One of the officers was alleged to have assaulted one of the arrestees.
Because the initial complaint alleged potential criminal wrongdoing, the matter was referred to the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s office for review. After reviewing the complaint, Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania asked that a full criminal investigation be completed. The results of that requested investigation were turned over to the Commonwealth’s Attorney on August 25, 2020.
On August 31, 2020, after reviewing and considering the results of the criminal investigation, Mr. Platania determined that probable cause existed to believe that an assault and battery occurred. Mr. Platania authorized the Police Department to appear before a magistrate and seek a warrant for the involved officer.
On September 1, 2020, a Magistrate found probable cause and issued a warrant charging Officer Jeffrey Jaeger with Misdemeanor Assault and Battery. The warrant issued by the Magistrate was permitted, and his initial court appearance is set for September 14, 2020.
The actions of the other two officers named in the complaint were not criminal in nature and will be handled through the department’s disciplinary procedures.
A warrant is a charging document and does not constitute evidence of guilt. Every person is entitled to a presumption of innocence until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
As this is a criminal matter, the Charlottesville Police Department will have no further comment.
Public Information Officer
Charlottesville Police Department