Protesters Want Tear Gassing Officers Fired

WRVA News
June 02, 2020 - 3:39 pm
Protesters gather at Richmond City Hall for mayor's apology

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Richmond, VA _  A large group of protesters who gathered at Richmond City Hall Tuesday to hear an apology for Mayor Levar Stoney for the tear gassing of peaceful protesters at the Robert E. Lee Monument, seemed reticent to accept, or even listen to the apology.  The crowd frequently drowned Stoney out, some carrying signs and chanting demands that Stoney resign.

Members of the crowd also questioned Stoney about why he asked Governor Ralph Northam for a curfew, which they blamed for mass arrests during Sunday night protests, and demanded that charges be dropped against all 233 of the peope who were arrested.  Police say not all of the arrests involved curfew violations, however, and said some of the arrests stemmed from the recovery of a cache of weapons that had been stolen Saturday night during the looting of a pawn shop on Broad street in downtown Richmond. 

One woman complained that while Black citizens were being hauled in for curfew violation, White citizens were not.  Questions also remain about video seen on social media, showing police officers walking by protesters, then casually turning to spray pepper spray in the faces of three women for no apparent reason.

Other loud demands included the firing of the officers involed in the tear gassing incident at the Lee Monument.  Stoney responded"There is a process for all of that, and disciplinary action wil be taken", but the respose was insufficient for those who wanted clarification on exactly what that meant.

Stoney ended the gathering by promising to join protesters Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a march from the State Capitol to the Lee Monument, promising that Police Chief William Smith would be there as well.