Occupy Richmond protesters appear in court

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police have made several arrests in the latest Occupy Richmond demonstration. The group got kicked out of Monroe Park and ended up at the Canal Walk. Two of those protesters spent the night in jail.

Several group members showed up at court Thursday to support the two men they say were wrongfully arrested. They say they will be loud and they want their voices heard.

The protesters didn't give specifics, but just said they aren't happy about the arrests and charges made against two other protestors.

Two protesters arrested Wednesday night appeared before a judge Thursday morning. The most surprising felony charge according to supporters, was for bandanas over their face near Monroe Park during the demonstration.

"Which they were wearing as protective measures with vinegar to protect themselves from tear gas," said Lauren Davis.

Police never used tear gas.

The judge charged Eric Allen Scott and William Hunter Singleton each for wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct. Scott was also charged for resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon. Singleton faced charges for having a controlled substance, which friends like Mo Karn say is for medical reasons.

"Our friends in the city jail are important to us and we are not going to sit quietly at home while they are locked in city jail," said Mo Karn. "It's also a message in solidarity for everyone."

A large group of people were present when the judge set Scott's bond at $5,000. Singleton has not had bond set yet, however protestors say they feel the treatment from police was too harsh.

"It was a peaceful demonstration," said one protester. "People were just marching and then police enacted violence. They pulled people out of the crowd. They pulled people out of the crowd and slammed people into cars."

Richmond's Chief of Police says the extensive response from multiple agencies was necessary.

"We are trying to keep an open dialog to make sure we can talk our way through this and make sure everybody understands the issues here," said a protester.

For now, the protestors will continue to meet at several locations throughout Richmond to let their voice be heard.

Singleton's bond has not been set yet. He has a pubic defender who will file a bond motion.

The protestors say they will hold a general assembly meeting at 1:30 p.m., and another demonstration at the jail at 8:00 p.m..

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