No unarmed compliant person should be faced with have a gun pointed at them, especially at their head. This statement is even truer when the person wielding the gun is a police officer and the person which the gun is being pointed at is believed to be unarmed by the police officer.

This is exactly what happened to Ethelbert Johnson, a Black 34-year-old native of Norfolk and Former Norfolk Sheriff's Deputy. On December 9, 2019, following an argument with his wife, Mr. Johnson came outside of his home on 29th Street in Norfolk to be confronted by a police officer pointing a gun at him. Johnson immediately complies only to have the officer point the gun directly at his head. The officer did not make any attempt to de-escalate the level of force.

When Johnson's autistic son came to the door, the officer still neglected to de-escalate the level of force even though by his own statement, the officer believed Johnson to be unarmed. Unarmed, helpless and with a police officer still pointing a gun at his head, Johnson yells for help from his neighbors.

Upon the arrival of other police units, Johnson is still compliant but is slammed headfirst into a wall, taken into custody and dragged off of his porch to a police car. Officer Fernandez is seen lying to his Sergeant and to investigators about the even to justify his use of excessive force.

Officer Fernandez did an improper investigation in accordance with Compulsory Minimum Training Standards and Performance Outcomes for Law Enforcement Officers, Performance Outcome 5.22. Even when another officer confronted him and explained to him that he was sure Mr. Johnson was being setup. Investigators Detectives Smith and O'Connor came out and coached the alleged victim and witness how to explain being assaulted the way she claimed she was when she was unable to explain how being assaulted felt and on how to gain a conviction in court.

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Compulsory Minimum Training Standards and Performance Outcomes

Please contact the City of Norfolk Police Department's Office of Professional Standards and let them know how you feel about the actions of their officers

100 Brooke Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: 757-664-3277

Officers drag Johnson off of his porch 5.52
Officer lies to Sergeant saying Mr. Johnson had a weapon holster that he saw and he was unsure if there was a weapon in it. 7:58
Improper investigation 9:32
Officer Philips acknowledges that Johnson is being setup 11:25
Officer Fernandez lies to detective said Johnson tried to go back inside when he was confronted by law enforcement 12:00
The alleged victim does not know how to explain how it feels to be choked 13:08
Bias witness willing to say anything derogatory about Johnson 13:50
Bias detective explains how to secure a conviction 15:10
About Ethelbert Johnson 15:40

Citizen Journalism