UPDATE: 17 arrested near Monroe Park, ‘unlawful assembly’ declared near VCU campus

Police in riot gear enter Monroe Park near Franklin Street on Sunday, July 26. Photo by Andrew Ringle

Eduardo Acevedo, News Editor
Hannah Eason, Managing Editor

Richmond police ordered those in Monroe Park to disperse Sunday night before detaining at least a dozen people nearby, pinning some to the steps of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Officers declared an “unlawful assembly” on Broad Street nearly three hours later.

Around 50 demonstrators gathered in the park at 10:15 p.m., when police officers equipped with riot gear arrived from the Franklin and Belvidere intersection.

Andrew Ringle, executive editor at The Commonwealth Times, was among those detained and was later released. Ringle was following police orders to leave the park when police in riot gear charged forward and handcuffed him.

Police held Ringle behind a riot-shield line for approximately 20 minutes, reviewing his press credentials and removing his mask to take a photograph of his face. Ringle was later released from police custody.

A representative from the RVA Bail Fund who wished to remain anonymous said at least 15 people were arrested. 

The Richmond Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for information on arrests.

During a press conference held on Monday, Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith held a press conference on Monday regarding Sunday’s protests

In a press release, police said 17 people, including two minors, were arrested Sunday night.

Protesters were charged with:

  • Trespassing
  • Pedestrian in roadway
  • False ID to police to avoid arrest
  • Rioting
  • Rioting with a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute
  • Transporting an assault rifle within city limits
  • Possession of a weapon with an extended magazine
  • Rioting with the possession of a deadly weapon
  • Blocking traffic
  • Driving without a seat belt
  • Drivers license not in possession

Later in the night

After leaving the park, demonstrators regrouped at Marcus-David Peters Circle and then marched east on Broad Street. Protesters stopped at Broad and Belvidere streets and sat in the intersection, surrounded by supporting vehicles and bike marshalls.

The crowd began moving west on Broad Street when they were met by police in front of the VCU Barnes & Noble. Around 12:55 a.m., police declared an unlawful assembly over bullhorns and moved forward, pushing the crowd down Hancock Street.

After the crowd left the area, police remained and formed a line facing less than 10 remaining people, mostly members of the press.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Richmond Fire Department responded to a dumpster fire on Goshen Street as police vehicles blocked nearby intersections.

Police chased and taunted protesters who remained near Grace and Belvidere streets, three blocks away from the area that was declared an unlawful assembly. One said “you talk a lot of shit walking away” before being called back by other officers.

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