Protests continued around the city last night, and Richmond Police responded with force, engaging in behavior that shocked the city and prompted a public apology from Mayor Levar Stoney.
Protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin continued in Richmond for the fourth night in a row on Monday, and a heavy-handed response from Richmond Police present at a non-violent demonstration led to some of the worst violence Richmond has seen so far.
Richmond is currently under an 8 pm curfew imposed by Mayor Levar Stoney, but the incident that occurred at the Robert E. Lee Monument last night began almost an hour before the curfew, when local police began launching tear gas canisters at protesters gathered around the Lee Monument.
With pictures and videos of graphic violence, all seemingly started and escalated by police, hitting social media throughout the evening, Mayor Levar Stoney released a brief statement apologizing for the police conduct at the monument, and scheduling a public conference for 12 noon today, at which time he intended to make a public apology. “To the peaceful protesters that were gassed tonight, please come,” Stoney tweeted, along with an announcement of the event at City Hall. “I want to apologize in person.”
In what might have been an attempt to compensate for having gone too far, the city allowed a crowd of around a thousand protesters to continue marching through the streets until hours after curfew. The protesters on foot, numbering in the hundreds, were joined by dozens of cars who honked their horns in support as protesters chanted, staying on the streets until after midnight.
What will today bring? While we await the answer, here are images captured by RVA Mag staff and contributing photographers during last night’s events.
For real-time updates, photos, and video of the action around Richmond, follow RVA Magazine on Instagram @rvamag.
Top Photo by Darrell Booker