RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Starbucks in the City of Richmond was vandalized shortly after protesters dispersed from the Robert E. Lee monument, police said.
The Starbucks at the corner of North Robinson Street and Stuart Avenue was vandalized overnight along with other businesses in The Fan area.
When an 8News crew arrived on the scene the window of the Starbucks was shattered and glass was covering the sidewalk. There was also a burn mark on the wooden floor.
Richmond police said just before midnight they received a report of glass breaking and “several road flares were burning” on the floor inside the building.
When police arrived on the scene they concluded that someone had thrown a brick through the window and threw a lit flare inside.
Authorities said this happened shortly after protesters began marching away from the Lee monument — the Starbucks is just over a half-mile away.
8News checked with police who said they could not confirm that protesters were behind this incident. Protesters have also said their march didn’t go by the Starbucks.
Richmond Police provided this timeline of events:
5:38 p.m. – Reminder about Robert E. Lee Monument grounds closing at sunset posted on social media
8:35 p.m. – Sunset in Richmond, VA; approximately 300 protesters remain on Lee Monument grounds
10:50 p.m. – Police arrive at Lee Monument; protesters form “shield wall”
11:06 p.m. – Police make trespassing announcement via bullhorn
11:25 p.m. – Police approach protesters to enforce trespassing violations; protesters move into the roadway off of the Lee Monument grounds
11:28 p.m. – Unlawful Assembly declared when the crowd throws rocks at police; upon declaration, majority of protesters disperse and one arrested for Unlawful Assembly (Class 1 misdemeanor)
11:35 p.m. – 1:35 a.m. – Protesters march throughout the City, ending at Monroe Park; during march, protesters break windows at Whole Foods on W Broad St and vandalize Maury Monument; windows of Starbucks store on N Robinson St broken out and flare thrown inside (possibly protest-related)
1:37 a.m. – Protesters spray paint VCU security cameras
2:00 – 3:00 a.m. – Approximately 150 protesters continue marching through the Fan District; protesters break windows at District 5 restaurant
3:15 a.m. – Multiple arrests on N Allen St: first for Interfering with an Aircraft à pointed laser (Class 6 felony); second for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officer à struck in face with shield (Class 6 felony); third for Obstructing Justice (Class 1 misdemeanor)
3:55 a.m. – Most protesters disband
In a statement released by RPD Thursday afternoon, they said, “The incident appears to be related to the on-going protests in the city since it occurred as protesters were vandalizing several buildings as they marched through the area several blocks away.”
The two other businesses that were vandalized included the Whole Foods on the 2000 block of West Broad Street and District 5 in the 1900 block of West Main Street.
The Richmond Police Department and Fire Department Arson Team are investigating the incident at the Starbucks.