Submitted by MeanMasheen5 t3_10usft0 in rva

A case was dismissed after body cam footage showed that, despite statements from the officers, the defendant didn’t assault the officers, and instead, was thrown into a bush and handcuffed without cause. Officer Samuel Yoon has had two other cases dismissed for fabricated evidence. He’s still on the job and hasn’t faced consequences. Between this and July 4th, RPD is really making it clear that lying is central to their training and encouraged.

RTD article and body cam footage

It seems that the strategy from this officer (and I’m sure he’s not alone) is to bring severe charges against community members who are unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of his outbursts in the hopes they settle for a plea and vindicate his actions.



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bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7dn71o wrote

Police do not decide what charges are brought. That’s the district attorneys job.


UnderThenOver t1_j7do5bi wrote

Not true. Most charges are taken out by warrant at the Magistrate's office. The officer gives their version of events and the magistrate authorizes the warrant. Prosecutors can alter the charges and can bring direct indictments in circuit court but for charges like this--it's all based on the officer's testimony.


bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7dp65l wrote

I’m not a lawyer- but the DA obviously has to be on board for the case to move forward. So either the DA is just as corrupt as the police officers or something else is also at play.

Reading in between the lines a little bit it looks like the DA chose to drop the case when the reason for the call that brought the police out in the first place(suspect threatening people with a broken glass bottle) was ruled inadmissible.


bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7drs7w wrote

It’s from the article homie. I realize it goes against “POLICE ALL BAD” narrative Reddit loves. But if you think that cops just decide what charges are brought and that’s the end of the story I don’t know what to tell you.


opienandm t1_j7dtmlq wrote

Meanwhile, whatever semblance of a normal life this guy had before a wrongful arrest was probably destroyed. The presumption of guilt is very very strong in this country.

Is the RPD going to reimburse him for lost time at work and attorneys fees?


bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7du3in wrote

Dude this is literally directly from the article. The DA dropped the charges because key info in the case was ruled inadmissible. For better or worse.

> McEachin said that her office did not "have any issue with the legitimacy of the charge in this case," and that their decision not to proceed with charges "was unrelated to the implication suggested in your reporting."

> McEachin said that at a hearing the Friday before Holley's trial, the judge had ruled the 911 call for service that brought Yoon and Onorati to Maggie Walker Plaza was inadmissible.

> McEachin said the call for service was for a report of a man attacking people with a glass bottle.

> “The exclusion of the crucial evidence left our prosecutor in a position which she would no longer be able to present at trial the context and reported violence that led the officers to approach Mr. Holley," McEachin said


xZOMBIETAGx t1_j7duo0u wrote

“ultimately, it was for the jury to decide if Onorati had been assaulted”

even if we can see clearly what happened on camera


Daemonrealm t1_j7dv8o8 wrote

Also I hope it’s known that magistrates are not judges. They almost all have a very close and many times blatantly 1 sided decision making process with regard to anything a police department wants or asks for. There is no decision making or due diligence on their end. They just sign off without reviewing a thing most of the time.


instantcoffee69 t1_j7dxoo7 wrote

> “I spoke with Ms. Shapiro candidly and said I was uncomfortable even moving forward with disorderly conduct charges,” Wildeus said before the court.
Shapiro said that Officer Yoon is well known in the Fourth Precinct. Two other cases with similar charges also had similar last-minute dismissals, said Shapiro, an attorney with Richmond Public Defender’s Office. One of the charges was as recent as last December.

Pattern of misconduct is bad thing, maybe they shouldn't be cops.

>On Thursday, Commonwealth Attorney Colette McEachin emailed the Times-Dispatch to add comments to Holley's case.
McEachin said that her office did not "have any issue with the legitimacy of the charge in this case," and that their decision not to proceed with charges "was unrelated to the implication suggested in your reporting"

Whaaaa, let's stop clowning around gang.

> McEachin said that at a hearing the Friday before Holley's trial, the judge had ruled the 911 call for service that brought Yoon and Onorati to Maggie Walker Plaza was inadmissible.
McEachin said the call for service was for a report of a man attacking people with a glass bottle.

So they arrested a random black dude?

>Asked if she thought the body camera footage substantiated Yoon's claims of assault, McEachin said that body camera footage doesn't always capture everything that transpires, and that ultimately, it was for the jury to decide if Onorati had been assaulted.

So the new rule is cops, when we know they are BSing they can throw accusations, and then it's "fuck It, let the trial settle this"

Richmond has made no effort to reform the RPD or its commonwealth prosecution.


bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7dymmd wrote

Your obviously upset and that’s fine- but you shouldn’t be rude. All I was saying is that the prosecutors have discretion on what cases to bring to trial. Once it was determined that that reason for the 911 call was going to be inadmissible- the prosecutor no longer felt they could try the case effectively.

Literally all of this is in the article. If I’m wrong on something here I’d love for you to point it out to me. But you won’t because your just emotional and lashing out.


MeanMasheen5 OP t1_j7dzrsq wrote

The article states the prosecutor brought the case forward because officer Yoon said that the defendant assaulted them. The body camera footage shows that that isn’t the case. The case wasn’t happening because of a 911 call. That wouldn’t ever be the case. The commonwealth attorney saying that the initial call was inadmissible further proves even more that they had no backing for their response or to prosecute. If that were the case than they could just go with the camera footage as their main evidence of assault.


MonkeyWrench1973 t1_j7e0m0r wrote

Cops literally take a "throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks" approach. ALL possible charges are filed with the DA, and the ones they can prove in court are the charges they move forward with.

Source: former Deputy Sheriff.


Utretch t1_j7e0qhg wrote

Isn't this that same guy who was brandishing an assault rifle at the former Lee statue for the "constructive conversation" that never happened?

Edit: oh it was his partner whoops what an orchard


beamishbo t1_j7e3317 wrote

He's correct though. Charges can be brought a few ways - a basic search in the court system (public record) shows this case was brought on warrant and made it though general district court up to circuit. That means the prosecutor and at least one judge thought there was probable cause for the assault - presumably before the 911 call was ruled inadmissible.


UnderThenOver t1_j7e36fg wrote

I agree that the prosecutor was on board for the case to get to the level it did (day of jury trial--which takes months and a ton of work). I think that shows another issue within the system which is that this case made it through bond hearings (most likely), preliminary hearing, motions date--and yet the prosecutor withdraws the charges the DAY OF the jury trial and was at least the second, if not the third or fourth, prosecutor to have this case assigned to them. Multiple prosecutors saw this footage and saw nothing wrong with it.

The phone call doesn't change the fact of whether or not an officer was assaulted--I believe this to be an excuse the prosecutor is using because they knew the case was trash and had to come up with some reason. And just to be clear, the prosecutor didn't dismiss this charge. It was nolle prossed, or withdrawn without prejudice, which means it can technically be brought back at any time since there are no statute of limitations for felony charges in VA.


beamishbo t1_j7e37we wrote

Where are you getting the idea that the police failed to disclose the reason for the call, or the idea that the call didn't match the person who was arrested? None of that is even alluded to in the article. The only thing mentioned is the fact that a judge ruled the context of the call inadmissible the Friday before.


bigdaddyman6969 t1_j7e3yh4 wrote

I know I’m getting killed in the comment section but this is a legitimate question I have if you have a second to answer.

It does look like the person who is being arrested is certainly resisting arrest. He appears to push the officers and maybe take a swing?

At what point does what he is doing become resisting arrest? Or escalate from resisting arrest to assaulting a police officer? Is what is happening in this case basically - ‘the police had no reason to even be involved with this guy so the fact that he may have assaulted them is irrelevant’ or ‘what he is on camera doing is not assault or resisting arrest’. Genuinely curious.

Thanks !


beamishbo t1_j7e4rh2 wrote

Here's my hot take, which I'm guessing will get downvoted into oblivion.

The article came out on Wednesday, and didn't mention anything about the evidentiary hearing on Friday. That information was provided in the comment added on Thursday.

That hearing was, like everything else that happens in every court except juvenile court, a matter of public record. As would have been anything filed by either the defense attorney or the prosecutor in the matter.

Presumably, information would have come out at that hearing about what was in that call and why officers responded the way they did. RTD chose not to report on this and we don't have any information about what happened at that hearing.

This article reads like there is a lot of information missing, yet people seem very eager to fill in the gaps - as we can see from your comment that the cops "arrested a random black dude."

The article also can't decide if it wants to praise the prosecutor for dismissing bogus charges or condemn them along with the entire system. Its .. a weird and confusing article.


MeanMasheen5 OP t1_j7egh96 wrote

I’m just going based off of what I’ve read but it’s kinda both. If they do not have the legal authority to arrest you then you are allowed to resist in Virginia. They had no business arresting him as there was no probable cause that he had committed a crime nor was he who they were there for and simply holding a phone is not a crime and neither is j walking in Virginia.

When resisting an unlawful arrest you cannot show more force than the officer otherwise it becomes assault. The officer makes physical contact with him and he pushes away. That doesn’t seem any higher in severity so it’s probably not assault.


PopBopMopCop t1_j7eplsn wrote

Defendants are bullied and coerced by prosecutors into taking pleas for bullshit charges like this all the time. Glad some attention is finally being brought to this practice.


FARTBOSS420 t1_j7etd7g wrote

>This article reads like there is a lot of information missing, yet people seem very eager to fill in the gaps - as we can see from your comment that the cops "arrested a random black dude."

This is spot on. I hope no one assumes it as Pro-Cop (or anti for that matter). Journalism is fucked. Police misconduct and brutality absolutely Should be reported on. However, any story about cops is usually total "click-bait" these days because it's about 1,000,000 times more likely to be clicked on than an article about, my cat or something. In other words, very lucrative. Therefore the financial push to produce these kind of articles as rapidly and abundantly as possible (for clicks, not justice or accurate info) mires journalistic integrity.

Where you're hearing a "bad cop story" it often turns out to be a bad cop. Not giving them especially the RPD benefit of the doubt. However:

I don't know the psychological terms. But we all know law enforcement and journalism have a fuck-ton of ethical, moral, and professional major issues right now. And especially the RTD.

Basically, as soon as it appears to be a bad cop story (or anything else intense, missing kid, child abuse, bad teacher etc.), people suddenly forget how fucked, and how there are no standards for journalism anymore. Most of what we read is simply padding for ads.

I hope that makes sense. Basically it's possible to think cops are bad and journalism is bad. And not have a knee-jerk reaction to the buzzwords we've been researched by online tracking and targeting, to be presented exactly what we wanna see, not see what we don't want to see. By "don't want to see" I mean "less likely to click the headline, therefore less ad money."

Ok now I'm starting to ramble about targeted ads. Everyone knows those are unethical. They target you with the exact kind of articles you're mostly to click, which ads catered to the general lifestyle of the target group.

In other words, police brutality is real. But so is bad journalism. Don't get overwhelmed when they happen simultaneously.

Social media is fucked in the same way. Before you downvote, Ask yourself this... How many times have you seen a video posted on Reddit (any subject, doesn't have to be cops)... And then seen a truncated version reposted later with a completely different, equally convincing narrative? That's Journalism 101. You can't trust it's good journalism just because it's covering an important subject matter. They have no pressure or reason to complicate their process by getting tripped up by standards of accuracy, ethics, morality, saying who's financially backing them, etc. Etc.

Also Edit: How many times have you seen something in person that makes the local news, and then the local news gets it all wrong? Every time pretty much.


Motor_Trouble6904 t1_j7g0oeu wrote

You hit the nail on the head.

They initially charge you with more severe crimes and a decent number of them, with the expectation that you’ll plead out to at least one of them thus landing them a conviction.

Not sure if RPD does this but have had a Henrico prosecutor tell me verbatim that’s why their conviction rate is so high.

Va for lovers❤️


beamishbo t1_j7g1kb2 wrote

So is the article. It's also extremely poorly researched, which is the worst offense, because it would have taken perhaps 30 minutes of research to verify some of the things it asserts as fact.


RVALoneWanderer t1_j7ggdbx wrote

What makes you say it was wrongful? They received a report of a man threatening people with a bottle, found a man there matching the description who had a bottle, detained him to investigate, and were attacked and so arrested him.


robsterva t1_j7gwowa wrote

It's sad that Donald McEachin's widow is such a cog in a corrupt system.

Worse that she ran for CA on a platform of "Help us make Richmond a safe, just and equitable city for all." What's safe, just, or equitable about prosecuting this case, exactly?


purpur4 t1_j8323bq wrote

From: McEachin, Colette W. - Commonwealth Attorney

Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2023 10:06 AM

To: '' <>

Cc: CCoates <>; '' <>; '' <>

Subject: Response to Holley article

Dear Mr. Powell,

I’m writing to correct the inaccuracies and incomplete information contained in your February 1, 2023 article regarding the arrest and prosecution of Oliver Holley.

First, you note that the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office "did not respond to a request for comment" about your story. As the elected Commonwealth's Attorney, I am the head of that agency and ultimately responsible for responding to such inquiries. Had you taken the time to contact me directly, I would have provided you with the following information that would have resulted in a more informed and balanced article.

Second, and contrary to the implications in your article, neither the prosecutor assigned to the case nor our Office had any issue with the legitimacy of the charge in this case. As explained below, our Office's decision not to proceed with the charge against Mr. Holley was wholly and completely unrelated to the implications suggested in your reporting.

This case had a pre-trial motions hearing held last Friday, January 27, 2023. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial judge ruled that the evidence that led to the police approaching Mr. Holley in the first place would be inadmissible at trial. The Court's ruling was in response to defense counsel's motion, filed less than a week before trial, seeking to exclude the underlying "facts of the call for service" and asserting that such information was irrelevant, hearsay, and prejudicial. The Court's ruling would have restricted the officers to testifying at trial only "that they responded to a service call," but would have precluded any specific testimony that call. In fact, the 911 call for service was for the report of a man in front of a downtown business, acting belligerently and attacking people while armed with a glass bottle. While we disagree with the judge's ruling, we respect the Court's decision.

However, the exclusion of that crucial evidence left our prosecutor in a position in which she would no longer be able to present at trial the context and reported violence that led the officers to approach Mr. Holley. Without that relevant information, it would have appeared to a jury that police officers approached Mr. Holley for no good reason, instead of approaching him because he presented a danger to himself or others. Consequently, the prosecutor chose appropriately not to proceed to trial and to nolle pros the charge. Prosecutors are required to present "good cause," when they move to nolle pros a case, and Ms. Wildeus correctly stated "evidentiary issues" as the basis for good cause. However, the evidentiary issues were not issues of questioning the officers' factual account but rather the exclusion of important evidence. It is unclear from your article as to whether you relied solely upon the public defender's recollection of these events or whether you availed yourself of the opportunity to actually attend the hearing where this ruling was made and to view the pleadings and orders which are publicly available at the Clerk's Office.

The Times-Dispatch also reported that Ms. Wildeus said she was "uncomfortable" moving forward with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, thus insinuating that the initial felony assault charge was also without merit. To the contrary, Ms. Wildeus’ reservations were rooted in her correct analysis of the disorderly conduct statute (Virginia Code § 18.2-415(B)), which states, in part, that the conduct described in the statute shall not be deemed “to include conduct otherwise made punishable under this title.” Thus, her concerns were not as, your article states, about “a case with allegations that made even the prosecutor feel ‘uncomfortable,’” but rather about whether the law precluded a prosecution for disorderly conduct in this case since Mr. Holley had already been charged with felony assault on law enforcement—“conduct otherwise made punishable under this title.”

Finally, your description that the public defender "lambasted the Commonwealth prosecutors for dragging out Holley's case despite 'evidence that there was no crime committed'" begs several questions. This offense occurred on June 5, 2022. Ms. Shapiro's office was appointed to represent Mr. Holley at his initial court appearance on June 8, 2022. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office sent the body worn camera footage to the Public Defender's Office on June 15, 2022. Ms. Shapiro appeared in court as Mr. Holley's attorney on July 6, 2022 and requested more time to view the body worn camera footage. The public defender had seven months to review the footage and make any motions regarding the case, yet waited until less than a week before trial. Any legal procrastination lays at the feet of the public defender.

The fact that the bodycam footage did not capture the assault is certainly helpful to the defense, but this is neither a surprise nor a novel issue; it is not proof that "no crime was committed." The body cameras that officers wear do not always capture every action that occurs during an incident. This is because the body cameras can be jostled and their video obscured at times, particularly when an individual struggles with the police as Mr. Holley did. Your article notes that the body camera footage was shown to a different prosecutor at a "pre-trial" hearing in August. Your article does not explain that it was our Office that sent that the camera footage to the public defender in the first place. Also, the "pre-trial" hearing was actually a preliminary hearing where the public defender presumably showed the footage to the General District Court judge. Regardless, the General District Court judge found probable cause to believe the assault had been committed and certified the charge to the Grand Jury. While a finding of probable cause at this stage of a case is not dispositive, neither is the absence of visible evidence of a specific action on body worn footage. All of these facts have been publicly available during the history of the case and were accessible by you to inform your reporting.

The public defender stated that her "concern is that this particular officer uses this charge to force people to plea." It is noteworthy that Officer Yoon did not take out a charge against Mr. Holley for assaulting him, but rather for assaulting Officer Yoon's partner. The Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is charged with administering justice and is ultimately the sole arbiter of whether a plea is offered in a criminal case. No law enforcement officer can force a person to plead to anything. If the public defender has evidence—not conjecture and speculation—that Officer Yoon uses unfounded or unsupported charges "to force people to plea," I urge her to present that evidence.

I hope that the length and detail of this response corrects the misperceptions created by the Times-Dispatch's coverage of this case. Against the backdrop of current events involving police and citizen interactions, it is important that reporting be not only factual, but unbiased and balanced. I hope that the thoughtful and impartial reporting that the Richmond community relies upon will lead you to dedicate as much space to this response as you did to your initial report.

Please feel free to contact me directly at or (804)646-4845 if you have any questions about this or any other case in the future.


Colette Wallace McEachin