Richmond residents anticipate unrest following election

2020 Election

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s the eve of Election Day and some members of the community are preparing for the worst.

These windows on Broad Street were boarded up today in anticipation of unrest. Some store fronts have been boarded up since earlier protests and riots.

windows on broad street being boarded up prior to 2020 election
Jon Beattie, chef of the Renaissance, was helping board up the window of Legal Aid. (Photo Ben Dennis)

The Richmond Police Department said they are “prepared and dedicated to ensuring public safety before, during, and after election day.”

The City of Richmond released a statement today saying they are working closely with local and state partners, as well as first responders, to ensure public safety before, during and after the election.

“We encourage all residents to peacefully participate in our democracy and observe public health and public safety protocols in exercising their rights,” the statement said.

There’s already unrest in the city. A political rally led to confrontation at the circle around the Robert E. Lee Monument on Sunday evening.

The main demonstration was a mobile rally called the “Trump Train” led by Mike Dickinson, current Richmond City Council candidate. It started in Henrico County at the Mission BBQ restaurant at 2 p.m. and led Trump supporters from the county into the city of Richmond.

Around 4:18 p.m., a woman at the circle reported to Richmond Police that an unknown person pepper-sprayed her in a car. Moments before that, officers were called to Monument Avenue following a report that an unoccupied car was hit once by gunfire.

The car shot at belonged to Jody Adams, a Richmond man photographing yesterday’s Trump parade demonstration.  He said he heard the shot but didn’t see who or where it came from. 

‘Thank goodness I wasn’t in that vehicle,” he said. “Every time I open this, it’s going to be a good reminder of what this could be.”

RPD blocked off the area surrounding the monument around 6:30 p.m. As of 7:15 p.m. the police presence has dispersed. At about 6:45 p.m. an 8News reporter saw no large crowds or altercations.

After Sunday’s incident, Adams said he isn’t sure if the election will end peacefully.

“Unfortunately I think that we don’t know what’s going to happen, and I think there will be some civil unrest I guess,” he said.

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