Capitol Square will not reopen to the public Saturday after Friday night’s protest

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Department of General Services announced they would not reopen Capitol Square to the public on Saturday, May 30, after Friday night’s protest.

Friday night, hundreds gathered in downtown Richmond to protest the death of George Floyd, who was pinned down by three Minneapolis officers while in police custody. One officer, Derek Chauvin, is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he continuously yells in distress.

Following the nationwide outrage, Chauvin was fired and has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The announcement said Capitol Square would not reopen because buildings around it were damaged during last night’s Richmond protest. This includes a broken window in the Barabara Johns Building, which houses the Office of the Attorney General.

Other buildings vandalized included the Virginia Capitol Visitor’s Entrance, Virginia Supreme Court Building and Washington Building.

8News reporter Sierra Fox was live near the Virginia State Capitol as protesters shouted the name “George Floyd” in unison. Signs of “I Can’t Breathe,” words uttered by Floyd, were also visible. Some protesters yelled profanity and shouted at responding police officers. Others were seen on top of their vehicles, refusing to move their car out of the roadway.

Officers were also seen trying to move the crowd away from the Capitol. 8News reached out to Capitol Police, who say no arrests have been made at this time.

“[Protesters] tried to get in Capitol Square at the main gate at Ninth and Grace about 9:30 p.m., but Capitol Police prevented them from entering,” according to a spokesperson from Capitol Police. “From there, they went to RPD headquarters.”

The DGS added the Division of Capitol Police will monitor activity near Capital Square to determine when they will reopen to the public.

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