POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Parents of a Chesterfield County teen are searching for answers and justice after their son was reportedly assaulted and racially targeted at a party in Powhatan County.

Kristie and Jerry Chambers say their son, 18-year-old Jerry Chambers Jr., came to them two years ago and told them about something that happened at a party.

According to the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office, on Sept. 12, 2020, Jerry Chambers Jr. — a 16-year-old at the time — attended a party at a home in Powhatan where he became intoxicated and passed out.

His parents say he rode in a car with people he trusted.

While he was unconscious, white supremacist symbols, racial slurs, and abusive language were written on his head in sharpie and he was draped in a Confederate flag.

Those who were present for the incident took photos of the unconscious Jerry Chambers Jr. and shared them over the social media app Snapchat.

His parents say he showed them some of the photographs that had been taken of him and posted online.

Two days later, the family reportedly went to the Chesterfield County Police Department and the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office.

Chesterfield County Police say that at the time, the family did not want it investigated. According to officials, on Sept. 14, 2020, the department received a report of a suspicious situation that occurred at an unknown location on Sept. 12, 2020. It was reported that inappropriate things had been written on a boy while he was unconscious.

The Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office also says the family was unsure whether or not they wanted to file a report that day.

“The deputy encouraged them to meet with the Commonwealth’s Attorney to discuss their concerns and the
deputy scheduled an appointment on September 15th at 9:45 am for them to meet with the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation’s Division Supervisor. The parents did not attend the appointment.”

Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office

The sheriff’s office told WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, they contacted them twice more after the incident.

However, members of the Chambers family claim that not enough was done by law enforcement.

On Dec. 3, 2021, the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office says the parents came back to the office to file a report and proceed with an investigation into what happened to their son in 2020.

“This has just been horrifying,” Kristie Chambers said. “The trauma related to this hate crime has just been devastating to our entire family. We’ve been literally fighting to save our son’s life from September of 2020 to the present.”

The Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation determined that although the individuals responsible were identified during the course of the investigation, limitation of prosecutions outlined in Virginia Code 19.2-8 prevented investigators from obtaining criminal arrest warrants for them.

According to his parents, Jerry Chambers Jr. has been in therapy since the incident.

The Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorney requested a special prosecutor after December 2021.

About a month later, on Jan. 12, his parents reported to the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office that their son was a victim of a brandishing of a firearm while attending a different party.

An investigation showed that a friend had pulled up his shirt and showed a firearm tucked in his pants. He allegedly stated, “I am not afraid to shoot anybody.”

The office determined the case was not viable because the firearm was not being brandished and Jerry Chambers Jr. was not threatened. His parents told WFXR’s sister station the individual who was involved in this incident was in attendance at the party in 2020.

On Feb. 2, FBI Richmond sent a letter to the family identifying the teen as a possible victim of crime and giving them a case number.

Even thought the incident occurred in September 2020, the FBI has been investigating the incident since earlier this year.

The Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office started an investigation yesterday.

“Our office has been appointed as special prosecutor by the request of the Powhattan Commonwealth Attorney relating to an assault and battery which occurred in Powhatan Virginia in September 2020,” wrote Joseph W. Lee III, who is the Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney at the Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

According to family members, investigators are looking to identify the individuals who took the photos.