Monday, November 24, 2014

Bashaud Breeland Anti-Drug Message Released

~ Commonwealth Attorney, School Superintendent promote use ~

Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring revealed a Public Service Announcement (PSA) today featuring Redskin’s Cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The PSA was produced as a result of Breeland being cited with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in August of this year by a VCU Police Officer.

The misdemeanor offense, which can often lead to community service sentencing, has instead resulted in the production of a public message that Herring sees as being more far-reaching and having potentially greater impact with young people than other more traditional forms of community services. “I saw this case, which qualifies for first-offender status, as a unique and different opportunity that presented us with the possibility of making a significant impact, as opposed to simply just giving out a punishment,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring. “Our goal here was to capitalize on Bashaud Breeland’s willingness to allow his experience to become a teaching tool to help young people make better decisions.”

Herring indicated that he knows of “no other instance in recent history where an active NFL player has been willing to be an exhibit concerning the lesson of how destructive drugs can be.”  Citing the target audience for this PSA as young people, and particularly student athletes, Herring was joined by Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden.

“This matter represents a very positive outcome to an unfortunate situation,” stated Dr. Bedden. “RPS now has the opportunity to make this PSA available through our health and athletics programs, as well as through our Family and Community Engagement office. The biggest message here is about decision-making and particularly decision-making as it come to illegal drugs. People are faced with tough choices every day. We feel this PSA will help young people stop and think about what to say no to or what to say yes to. We are going to use this as best we can to make a difference.”

The PSA can be seen on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/CityRichmondVA.

The PSA will also be broadcast on the City’s cable channel and it is available to be aired on other networks for broader audiences.