Downtown Richmond buildings vandalized during ‘Solidarity with Chicago’ protest

Police form a line at 17th and Main streets during a demonstration on July 11 in Richmond. Photo by Hannah Eason

Hannah Eason, Managing Editor
Andrew Ringle, Executive Editor

Windows were broken at multiple buildings in Richmond on Tuesday night, leaving a trail of property damage behind protesters that circled the downtown area.

Protesters dressed in all black gathered at around 9 p.m. in a parking lot at Broad and Crane streets in the East End. VCU sent an alert regarding a “public assembly” off of the MCV campus at 9:39 p.m.

Police Chief Gerald Smith personally joined the officers in the area, marking one of his first appearances during a police response to protests in Richmond. Police officers armed with riot gear formed a line in the intersection of Main and 17th streets shortly after 10:30 p.m. as protesters reached Shockoe Bottom. 

As the crowd turned to walk through the 17th Street Market, Smith was heard ordering officers to follow the crowd.

In a video posted to Twitter at 11:18 p.m., Smith can be seen directing an officer as he appears to detain a protester who was holding a shield. 

Officers in SUVs blocked intersections near the 17th Street Market, surrounding the moving demonstrators who dispersed shortly after. 

The Richmond Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for the number of arrests made Tuesday night. The Richmond Community Bail Fund stated on Twitter that “a few folks” were arrested but that the exact figure was unknown.

Earlier in the night

After gathering in the parking lot, about 50 people marched west on Broad Street toward MCV followed by several cars. Once the crowd arrived at the John Marshall Courts Building, some people broke windows and spray-painted the courtyard area. 

Richmond Strike, an activist social media page, shared a flyer for the demonstration on Tuesday with the caption: “Police ARE violence. See y’all tonight.”

According to the post, the demonstration was intended to support Chicago and “every city that fights back.” After protests in Chicago ended in the early morning hours on Monday, police had arrested more than 100 individuals for looting, disorderly conduct, battery against police and other charges.

Windows were broken Tuesday at the Dominion Energy building in Richmond and the Wells Fargo headquarters as protesters moved down Cary Street. Many nearby parking meters also were damaged.

Over honking horns, protesters shouted “fuck the city, fuck the state, America was never great” and other chants.

Protesters march through downtown Richmond near MCV on July 11. Photo by Hannah Eason


  1. We need to fight back and run these terrorist out of our city. This is INSANE and unacceptable. Wake up #AntifaTerrorists #BLMareTerrorst #FightBack #SaveVirginia #RecallNortham #BlackFaceBabyKiller

  2. Look ahead and see what it will look like after the dems get in office. We will have no more law and order and shortly no more country either. It will be China in control of the economy of the world.

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