RICHMOND, Va. – Amid unrest in the city, Tuesday brought news that Richmond’s police chief had resigned.
While protesters have been tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by police, cops say they have also been put in dangerous situations and worse, assaulted.
One Richmond Police officer posted his frustrations to Facebook after he says a bottle of bleach, paint, and urine was thrown at him.
His direct words to rioters: “You won’t keep myself or my other officers down. We will last longer than you.”
While there’s fear on both sides, Richmond resident Indya Carter says that doesn’t make the way police have handled the recent protests any more acceptable.
“I think when you apply for a certain job, you have to be ready for everything that comes with the job,” Carter said. “Being a police officer, you’re going to have to deal with rioting, you’re going to have to deal with angry people.”
She told 8News she wants police to listen. Carter feels they’re losing their humanity in this fight for justice.
“If they’re with us, they should make that known or they should have some speaking points from their department to be able to tell us,” Carter added.
Anthony Whitaker along with other residents 8News spoke with say Chief William Smith’s resignation is a step in the right direction.
“It shows that Mayor Stoney is listening to and taking seriously the concerns and wishes of so many in Richmond and all across the country,” Whitaker said. “I’ve seen too many instances where police have not done everything they can to keep the situation calmer and I’ve seen specific instances where their actions have escalated and already upset and rightfully angered the crowd into worst situations.”
Richmonders who spoke with 8News also say they understand the police are put in tough situations. They just hope the police force is willing to embrace a new, positive vision for the city.