RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dozens of protesters targeted the home of Richmond councilwoman and mayoral candidate Kim Gray Wednesday night. Gray told 8News her children were sleeping inside when the protesters, some with assault rifles, showed up outside of her Jackson Ward home.
She said this is not the first time protesters demonstrated in front of her home, but it was the first time a large number gathered. Gray estimates that number was about 200 people.
Gray first became concerned when someone participating in a protest at Monroe Park called her and said they heard a rumor that her house had been set on fire. “I reported that to the police chief and he said he would pass it on to the folks in my area,” Gray said.
She then noticed a protest was happening a few blocks away from her house and saw some protesters circling her block.
“We thought they might be coming this way. I had volunteers…professional security officers volunteering to keep my family safe,” said Gray.
Around 10 p.m., about 200 protesters gathered in front of her home, pointing lasers and shouting profanity. They left behind lists of “demands” on Gray’s front gate and in her yard, including “re-open the Marcus-David Peters case” and “defund the police and fund black futures.”
“Most of the people who were leading this protest have my personal cell phone number and know how to contact me and have not attempted to engage in a dialogue, and I am available to anyone who’s willing to dialogue and I will work around whatever hours they have at City Hall. My home is off limits, where my children sleep.” Gray told 8News.
Gray said she and several neighbors called 911, but police never came. 8News reached out to police to ask if a call was made and if so, why didn’t police respond. As of 6:30 p.m., the police have not responded to 8News’ request.
“The roadway was blocked for more than 20 minutes and they had assault rifles engaged and pointed and they had lasers pointed into my children’s bedroom windows,” she said.
Last month, 15 people were arrested during a sit-in at Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin’s Richmond home. Authorities said those protesters were blocking the roadway and obstructing traffic.
“I was in contact and communication with a lieutenant last night who was trying to be as helpful as he could. Our police have, under the orders of our administration, our city and our city leadership, have not been allowed to intervene,” Gray said.