RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police declared an Unlawful Assembly at the J.E.B. Stuart Monument around 9:20 p.m. Sunday night.
Police described an Unlawful Assembly as “whenever three or more persons assembled share the common intent to advance some lawful or unlawful purpose by the commission of an act or acts of unlawful force or violence likely to jeopardize seriously public safety, peace or order.”
When 8News arrived on scene, hundreds of people were seen stopping traffic on N Lombardy Street.
Cars were having to turn around due to foot traffic. A helicopter could be observed along with a heavy police presence.
A cone was placed atop the J.E.B. Stuart Monument’s head, along with several ropes tied around the statue. One person was seen along the base of the statue.
Police in riot gear started pushing back against the crowd in a standoff at about 10 p.m. after what appears to be an attempt from demonstrators to pull down the J.E.B. Stuart Monument.
Richmond Police tweeted at 10:12 p.m. explaining that the unlawful assembly was declared due to protesters attempting to pull down the J.E.B. Stuart statue with rope — which they said could have caused “serious injuries.”
Virginia State Police said that protesters blocked J.E.B. Stuart intersection and climbed atop the statue. The protesters then began to secure ropes across the statue.
VSP responded to “disperse the rioters,” and reported that no injuries occurred after bottles were thrown at officers — which resulted in the declaration of Unlawful Assembly.