Police disperse protesters with chemical agents, explosives after dump truck fire

Chemical agents and smoke fill the air above the Richmond Police Headquarters on Grace Street. Photo by Hannah Eason

Hannah Eason, Managing Editor
Andrew Ringle, Executive Editor

Police deployed chemical agents and flashbangs as a dump truck burned next to the Richmond Police Headquarters during protests Saturday night.

Fire crews responded to the vehicle fire shortly after officers cleared the area. Police declared an unlawful assembly at the headquarters around 11 p.m. and fired what appeared to be tear gas canisters into the air to disperse crowds. 

More than 200 demonstrators marched from Monroe Park to the 2nd Street headquarters after 10 p.m., joined by armed men in Hawaiian shirts who claimed to be members of the far-right “boogaloo” movement.

Some in the crowd opposed the group’s involvement in the march, while others defended their presence.

Protesters march on Broad Street, joined by men who appear to be members of the “boogaloo” movement. Photo by Andrew Ringle

Richmond police officers detained two journalists in a nearby parking lot after declaring an unlawful assembly at the headquarters. Eduardo Acevedo of The Commonwealth Times, one of the two who were detained, said he identified himself as press to officers and was wearing credentials.

The officers released the reporters shortly after. Police remained near the Davis Market on Madison Street to block alleys near the headquarters.

After dispersing, marchers regrouped near the Jefferson Hotel before returning to Monroe Park. 

The crowd moved west on Main Street and was met by a line of police near District 5, a bar and restaurant in the Fan. At least one person appeared to be detained and was held to the ground by multiple officers. Multiple fires were started in the area.

As police were redirecting traffic away from District 5 onto Granby Street a little after 12 a.m., an altercation broke out nearby between multiple people. In a video captured by Mikhail Smith of Richmond, one man can be seen firing what appeared to be a handgun toward the ground after exiting a black Chevrolet truck.

After an argument with people on the sidewalk, the driver left and two additional shots were fired while someone in the vehicle yelled a racial slur.

Several windows of local storefronts and VCU buildings on Grace and Main streets were smashed during the night’s demonstrations, including West Grace North and Grace and Broad residence halls.

Tables and trash cans were moved into the streets near Rhoads Hall. Windows were smashed at the Panda Express and Chipotle near VCU’s campus.

It has been 58 days since protests began in Richmond following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody with a knee on his neck.

2 Comments

  1. After the little white Marxists finished recording scenes on their $1K iPhones, they went home, drank Lattes, played on video games, and called their parents to send dem ‘mo money

    Da struggle iz reel

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