RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After a second night of unrest and riots in Richmond, business and property owners boarded-up windows and doors along Broad Street after some took on damage from protestors, and possibly in anticipation of future discord.
Power tools and pressure washers were commonly heard along Broad Street Sunday following the second night of peaceful protests that turned violence in Richmond.
After businesses were looted, and property defaced for the second night, some Richmonders like Tiniesha Black volunteered to help clean up what had been left along the city’s sidewalks.
Speaking of the riots, Black says “it was purposeless, it wasn’t about the cause. I feel like a lot of people came out here and here is that heart and our pain for their own personal gain.”
Protests retaliating recent examples of police brutality have popped-up in many cities across the country after the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck during a police encounter.
“I know a lot of stuff was destroyed – it’s in the crossfire between protesters and police and people that just wanted to destroy,” said David Geimecke who lives nearby, and also decided to help pick up the pieces of Saturday’s riots.
Store fronts, Confederate monuments and the Daughters of the Confederacy building were covered in spray paint. The Daughters of the Confederacy building was also set on fire.
Jamar Morris, of Richmond, believes attempts to protest peacefully have given disappointing results, saying, “Ain’t nothing happening, ain’t no justice being served. So, until justice gets served, we got to do what we got to do. I hate to say it like that, but that’s what it is.”
During a press conference where Mayor Levar Stoney announced his request for a Sunday curfew, an emotional Richmond Police Chief William Smith recalled an incident Saturday night where protestors intentionally set fire to an occupied building, then blocked fire crews from getting there with cars.
“Inside that home was a child. Officers were able to…” Smith then paused for composure. “We were able to get the fire department there safely, I’m sorry,” he said before taking a sip of water.
Smith continued, “…when you take a legitimate issue and highjack it for unknown reasons, that is unacceptable to me, and unacceptable to the Richmond Police Department, and unacceptable to the City of Richmond.”
Mayor Levar Stoney says four officers and several fire fighters were inured Saturday.
He also said a man suffered a life-threatening gunshot wound while in his car, that Smith said was fired by a protestor
Smith indicated police have intelligence some protestors came from outside Virginia in organized effort to cause destruction, believed to be antifascists and anarchists.
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