Governor Newsom Statement on Death of Richmond Police Sergeant

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement regarding the COVID-19 related death of Richmond Police Department Sergeant Virgil Thomas:

“It is with great sadness that Jennifer and I learned of the death of another law enforcement officer from COVID-19. We send our sincere condolences to Sergeant Thomas’ family, friends and fellow officers as well as the Richmond community, which has lost a devoted public servant.”

Sergeant Thomas, 51, died August 20 after being hospitalized for two weeks from complications due to COVID-19.

Sergeant Thomas served more than 24 years with the Richmond Police Department, his assignments included Neighborhood Services Team, Training Officer Program, and School Resources Unit at Kennedy High School, where he guided many underserved young people. He was president of the Guardians of Justice, a community organization working for fair treatment of African American officers, and led neighborhood events to enrich the lives of Richmond community members. He was also president of the Richmond Police Officers Association. Prior to joining the Richmond Police Department, Sergeant Thomas worked for the Albany and Novato police departments.

He is survived by his wife, Karene, two sons, and two daughters.

Flags at the State Capitol will be flown at half-staff in honor of Sergeant Thomas.