RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Demonstrators are calling for an end to police brutality by protesting on Broad Street from Willow Lawn to the City of Richmond.
This will be the sixth day of protests and demonstrations in the Richmond area over the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after an encounter with four Minneapolis police officers who were responding to a call that he had allegedly used counterfeit money to purchase cigarettes from a local store. Video taken from the scene showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he said he couldn’t breathe.
The ‘804 Police Brutality March’ was supposed to be a 15-mile walk down Broad from Short Pump to Richmond. However, the demonstration is now a 4-mile walk from Willow Lawn to the Robert E. Lee monument.
GRTC bus transit already announced that it will temporarily suspend Route 19 in anticipation of the march.
7 p.m. — Demonstrators in Chesterfield are making their way to the county courthouse after leaving the police headquarters. The protest march, labeled a “march for equal justice,” is being escorted down Iron Bridge Road by police.
The march comes after the Chesterfield police chief, Col. Jeff Katz, held a press conference Wednesday to ensure residents that the police department “is committed to listening to, learning from and working” with them.
6 p.m. — There was another day of peaceful protesting in the City of Richmond on Wednesday. Hundreds gathered at the Lee statue on Monument Avenue for a protest largely organized by high school seniors.
Corey Stuckey, a rising senior at George Wythe High School in Richmond, was one of the students who organized the protest.
“There’s only one species of mankind. If I was to die right now and somebody needed my heart, a white man can take my heart,” Stuckey said Wednesday. “A Spanish lady could take my heart. If I was to die right now and somebody needed my eye, they could take my eye if it was compatible. So why do we treat each other so different?”
5 p.m. — Protesters in Henrico County had plans to start marching at the Short Pump Mall to downtown Richmond on Wednesday but mall security and police refused to allow anyone to assemble by the mall.
The demonstrators instead began a 4-mile march from Willow Lawn to the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue chanting “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” and “Say his name! George Floyd!”
In anticipation of potential violence, stores in Short Pump boarded up their windows. 8News only witnessed peaceful protests while following the march.
4 p.m. — Gov. Ralph Northam has authorized the City of Hampton to implement a curfew from Wednesday through June 6. Hampton’s curfew will be between 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
“While the curfew is in effect, people must remain in their homes and may only leave to seek emergency services or travel to and from home, work, or places of worship,” a release from the governor’s office said.
The Lynchburg City Council decided Wednesday to readopt its curfew ordinance, adjusting it to 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. and will review the need to continue the curfew during its June 9 meeting. City officials will decide each day by noon “whether or not to extend the curfew,” a release from the city said.
2:28 p.m. — Hundreds of people start to gather around the Robert E. Lee monument. A group marching down Monument Avenue chanting “We want change!” joins the group of demonstrators at the Lee monument.
2 p.m. — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney will not extend the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on Richmond, a source told 8News. The ‘state of emergency order’ granted by Governor Ralph Northam expired at 6 a.m. this morning.
1 p.m. — A young crowd of about 30 people are getting ready to march from Willow Lawn to the Lee monument. Police have been seen driving alongside the protesters.
8News Alex Thorson said the protest has been peaceful so far.