City leaders respond to unrest in Richmond

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Council members condemned the response from authorities outside the Richmond police headquarters overnight and demanded answers Tuesday.

Police have said officers have been hurt, hit with asphalt and other objects during protests. Two council members, Michael Jones and Stephanie Lynch, said that if police were hurt that they “show them the video.”

Both Lynch and Jones say they saw officers deploying pepper spray, rubber bullets being fired and tear gas being used at what they would call peaceful protesters. They called the police response unacceptable.

Councilman Jones, the city’s 9th District representative, said it was the first time he felt intimidated while with protesters Monday night, claiming he and Lynch had to run from tear gas being launched at the crowd already several blocks away from headquarters.

However, others argue the protesters were not peaceful but were confrontational and taunting police. Some videos viewed by 8News do show the crowd yelling at officers, hurling profanties and breaking through police tape.

Richmond police and Virginia state police claim property has been damaged and officers have been injured, with some hospitalized, after being hit with asphalt.

“Show video, show video, if you have it, show it,” Jones said.

“I would encourage everyone to dig deep and look at all of the video footage before any assumptions or accusations have been made on any side,” Lynch added.

Both council members said they won’t defend bad actors but told 8News they’re not sure items being thrown, even bottles, warrants tear gassing an entire crowd.

Stay with 8News for the full report at 6 p.m.

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