RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith held a press conference Monday to address Sunday night’s unlawful assembly where a dozen people were arrested.
According to RPD, a group called 381 Movement was protesting the Marcus David Peters sign being stolen. Following the protest, police said ANTIFA members moved into play.
“We believe that 381 did the best they could to keep the ANTIFA element away from their protest. After that, the ANTIFA people went over between Grace and Broad streets where we made contact with them.”
In a release Monday morning, Richmond authorities said the group was walking in the travel lanes of West Grace and did not “comply with officers to disperse.” Authorities also said the individuals in the group were observed damaging property.
Police said as the group walked near the circle on Monument Avenue and Allen Street they damaged fencing and defaced buildings and signage with paint. When they were arrested and police confiscated spray paint, a hammer, a smoke device, flares and other incendiary devices.
8News’ Alex Thorson asked Chief Smith where the vandalism happened. RPD said they would get back to her with the specifics.
Chief Smith said he knows that 10 of the people are affiliated with ANTIFA, a far-left-leaning militant group. The other two are involved with a group called 381 Movement.
When asked by 8News how he knew they are ANTIFA members, Chief Smith said, “They fit the description and everything. ANTIFA’s whole object is chaos and disruption and not everyone is a member of ANTIFA but they are very well likened by their influence and their philosophies much like we used to see with gang activity. People may not necessarily be gang member but they are gang-affiliated or gang-related. They are not yet in there but they are actually moving that way.”
Chief Smith also commended and thanked 381 Movement for “policing their own protest.”
Police provided a list of the people who were arrested following the unlawful assembly declaration:
- Joshua Ackerley of Richmond, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly, destruction of property and obstruction
- Ian Broadhead of Wilmington, North Carolina was charged with unlawful assembly
- Andrew Goepel of Richmond, Virginia was charged with destruction of property and obstruction
- Austin Jones of Chester, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Taylor Kaplan of Chesterfield, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Valentina Lopez of Richmond Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Erica Margiel of Nellysford, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Isaiah Melozzi of Richmond, Virginia was charged with rioting
- Jaime Morgan of Charlottesville, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Robyn Proffer of Henrico, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Inga Schunn of Richmond, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly
- Irena Schunn of Richmond, Virginia was charged with unlawful assembly