ACLU calls for independent investigation after officers shoot Virginia woman dead

She had history with mental illness

HENRICO, Va. – The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for an independent investigation into the death of a Virginia woman shot dead by police.

Friends and family of the Henrico woman, Gay Plack, gathered to pay respects as she was laid to rest.

The incident started as a standard service call. When officers entered her home, police say the 57-year-old came at them, swinging an ax. Both officers fired their guns. 

The family feels the situation was handled poorly, and they are hoping to raise awareness about mental health situations involving police.

Plack's family has said she struggled with bipolar disorder.

"We are not going to let up on making sure that some good comes out of this whole thing," said one family member. "Particularly that no other family that has a family member that suffers with mental illness has to deal with this ever again."

"The officer had to make the most difficult decision in his career, and that was to use deadly force," said Chief Humberto Cardounel, Henrico County Police Division. 

The police chief says after looking at body cam video, he supports his officer's decisions.