RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Demonstrators are expected to make their way to Monroe Park on Saturday night for a protest called “Richmond Stands With Portland,” according to a profanity-laced flyer circulating on social media.
Richmond Councilwoman Kim Gray, who represents the city’s 2nd District, sent an email to Mayor Levar Stoney and newly appointed Police Chief Gerald Smith regarding the city’s response plan to the protest.
“As I am sure you know, publicity for this event is calling for participants to gather at Monroe Park at 9:30 p.m. tomorrow night. It can very easily be inferred from the attached flyer that participants will be encouraged or incited to engage in violent behavior,” Gray wrote. “It would be tremendously reassuring to residents if the City administration and RPD could communicate a plan of action.”
Gray then asks what Richmond’s plan of action is and what, if any, precautions residents should be taking ahead of the planned protest. The councilwoman told 8News that the mayor and police chief did not respond to her email.
Richmond police later told 8News that the department is “aware of the flyer.” “We are prepared. We will stay in touch, should anything develop,” police said.
Councilwoman Gray said in an interview with 8News on Friday that the threatening language indicates potential unrest in the city.
“What bothered me the most was f stuff up and I’m cleaning up the language for television. We’ve had enough damage to businesses in the areas and homes vandalized and cars windows smashed and set on fire,” said Gray.
Community activist Charles Willis says the curse words are a sign of hatred.
“We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Willis.
Willis said that he spoke with Stoney about the planned protest.
“He quickly picked up the phone as we contacted him to let him know our sentiments and what the community is saying and we got a very favorable response from the mayor that they are aware of it,” said Willis. “Chief Gerald Smith is prepared, but we believe also in being proactive instead of reactive.”
At this time, it is not clear who created the flyer. According to Gray, it has no relation with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“We’re not talking about peaceful protestors, we’re talking about people who want to wreck havoc on our city and tear things apart,” said Gray.
Stay with 8News for a full report at 11 p.m.