Widow looking for more answers from Chesapeake Police after husband's death during police pursuit

Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 17:28:43-05

SOUTH NORFOLK, Va. - A Chesapeake widow says she isn't satisfied with a report of her husband's death she just received 2 weeks ago from Chesapeake Police.

She believes police may have taken a pursuit too far, but police tell us the circumstances of the crash are cut and dry.

Veneeca Jeffries says her late husband Marcus, was a well-known barber, loved by many in the South Norfolk community.

"I received a call, and he told me he was on the way back to the house," said Jeffries.

Around 2 a.m. on May 16, 2021, 43-year-old Marcus Jefferies left a nightclub – but never made it home.

"I saw a body laying on the ground and I just started screaming because I knew at that point that was him," said Jefferies.

Marcus crashed his car into a telephone pole on the corner of Chesapeake Avenue and Ardmore Circle. All that was left was crumpled, and crushed metal. His wife admits he had alcohol in his system.

"There are too many accidents in Chesapeake and people losing their lives and loved ones are getting phone calls," said Jefferies.

Our research shows there were actually 6 police pursuits in the City of Chesapeake between May and July, three of them caused fatalities.

"The reason we brought this to light is we don't really know what happened that night," said Earl Lewis a consultant for the Jefferies family.

But police say they do, they tell us officers spotted a car driving erratically near Berklely and Cempostella. They attempted to stop the car, but say Jeffries fled, something his wife will readily admit to as he had just gotten out of jail.

Officers say a police pursuit through neighborhoods ensued and they lost sight of the vehicle because it was smoking.

But Veneeca disagrees. She showed News 3 doorbell video from the pursuit, where police are clearly trailing Jefferies.

"It was Marcus's decision to run that ultimately cost his life, what I am focused on is policies and procedures of police chief so another family won't get a phone call," she said.

The police pursuit policy in Chesapeake is up to the officers' discretion with supervisor oversight, but the need for an arrest must outweigh the risk of pursuit.

Police tell us they do not have dashcam video, but they have body cam, something Veneeca asked to see through a Freedom of Information request, which that they have up until next week to comply to.

Chesapeake Police say this case is still open.