RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The 8News investigative team has been slowing down, zooming in and critically reviewing drone video sent to us of Richmond police deploying tear gas on Monument Avenue Monday night.
After review, it appears that Richmond police may have first launched tear gas at their own men and women, leading to a spiral of events that resulted in peaceful protestors being tear-gassed.
The drone video shows hundreds of people at the Robert E. Lee Monument protesting the recent murder of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
In the video, a gray truck pulls up to the police barricade and it appears that a Richmond police officer sees the truck, turn and lobs tear gas at the vehicle.
When you look closely at the video, you see that the truck is escorted by police and is carrying more officers to the scene.
Once tear gas was deployed, a chain of events occurred where more gas was deployed, this time against the peaceful group of protesters gathered at the monument.
The crowd of demonstrators fled from the area around the monument to avoid the tear gas, and in a video captured by Virginia Public Media and shared with 8News, an officer is shown running after people and spraying them directly with what appears to be tear gas.
8News asked Richmond police who was traveling in the gray truck and to explain the scene we witnessed in the video.
RPD told us today, in an email, that the drone video has been sent to their team and, “will help provide clarity and assess the actions and circumstances of the situations that occurred throughout these days of unrest.”
Richmond Police Chief William Smith apologized on Monday night for the actions of the officers involved in the incident on Monument Avenue and said that they have been removed from the field and will be disciplined.