White woman files false assault report against Black couple, police say

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A white Virginia woman has been charged with filing a false assault report against a Black couple, authorities said.

Gladys Townsend, 63, was charged Wednesday with filing a false police report, news outlets reported.

The incident comes amid widespread instances of Black people having police called on them or facing charges for no good reason.

Powhatan County Chief Deputy Jeff Searfoss said the department received an assault report from Townsend on Tuesday.

Townsend told police a Black man and woman assaulted her on the street. She said she didn’t know who her assailants were but gave deputies a description of the couple and their car.

Searfoss said an investigation determined an assault didn’t occur and Townsend later confessed to lying about the incident. Details on why Townsend falsely accused the couple weren’t immediately released.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Cerullo said his department takes false reports seriously because of wasted resources, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Cerullo said false reports also cause harm to citizens who are “wrongly accused and or arrested.”

“These concerns were compounded in this situation by the heinousness of the allegation; behavior like this cannot be tolerated,” Cerullo said.