HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A peaceful protest called “804 Peaceful Police Brutality,” brought dozens of people out to the Short Pump area of Henrico County on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the protest didn’t quite start as planned. It was supposed to start at the Short Pump mall and continue east on Broad Street where demonstrators would walk 15 miles to downtown Richmond, according to organizers. Security at the mall was seen turning away people who claimed to be protesters and told 8News there was no protest there.
GRTC suspended service on its route 19 for pedestrian safety on Wednesday. The last bus left at 9 a.m.
Instead of leaving from Short Pump, protesters walked about four miles from Willow Lawn in Henrico to the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
Demonstrators chanted “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” and “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”
“There’s a lot of injustice in America and I think it’s time for a change,” Shannon Yancuy, a protester, told 8News.
It was a hot day. People jumped in to help, handing out water and ice.
“If our ancestors could walk from Alabama, Georgia to DC, even with all the stuff they had to face, we can walk from Willow Lawn to the Lee statue,” Jenaya Moore, a protester, said while holding a sign reading “This is a battle cry.”
“I have a young black African American brother who is about to go into the world and this could happen to him at any moment,” she said, referencing what happened to George Floyd.
“We need change in our community. All over the world we need change. There’s a lot going on right now so I’m just here for change,” another protester told 8News.
“Your silence speaks volumes and we need everybody to do something and play their part in order to make a change for all of us in this country,” Moore said.
Some stores in Short Pump had boarded up their windows ahead of the protest, fearing violence. However, 8News crews didn’t witness any violence.