Richmond neighbors pleased with police's security plan - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond neighbors pleased with police's security plan

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Days leading up to the rallies, Richmond police made it clear that officers would be out in full force as they prepared for the worst.

Many people who live and work around Monument Avenue noticed officers in action. Some of them were wearing tactical gear to make their presence known.

No one knew exactly how Saturday would go. It's something you just couldn't predict, but Richmond police braced for what could be the worst case scenario. Everyone we spoke with say they are glad they did.

A feisty crowd of counter-protesters were yelling at police.

"It looks like the situation could snap at any second," said a witness.

"They were yelling at each other. Then the lady said some sort of threat toward the dude she was arguing with, a threat of violence and then the cop hears that and swoops in and takes her out," said another witness.

That was just one of just a handful of incidents police had to intervene in.

Police Chief Al Durham was visible early in the day, setting the tone that officers were on the job.

"We really want people to be mindful and safe," said Adria Scharf, of the Richmond Peace Educational Center.

Scharf stood in solidarity with members of the Black Lives Matter group members, who traveled from New York. 

"You can confront people that you disagree with in a way that's powerful, and bold and proactive but in a way that's nonviolent," said Scharf.

As some of the protests got heated, George Davis could see much of it from outside his front door.

"A lot of groups that had a lot of agendas and stuff like that and earlier, it was a lot of people from out of state, obviously not Richmonders," said Davis. Still he says he never felt in danger, in part because Richmond police had a plan that neighbors say worked well.

"It's dynamite. They are keeping people a part, just like the chief of police said they were going to. It didn't get out of hand, and I guess they broke things up when it needed to be broken up," said Robert Kilpatrick

"You never know if people are going to come from another state and do something crazy. So it's good to have them (police) here," said Joe Powers, who was pleased with the police presence.

Police are saying their increased presence in the area will continue into the night.

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