Mayor Stoney calls for Richmond police officer to be placed on leave

Investigation requested involving Saturday night confrontation with protesters near Lee Monument
Updated: Jun. 15, 2020 at 4:32 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is requesting the Richmond Police Department place an officer on leave following an incident with protesters near the Lee Monument Saturday night.

Cell phone video shared with NBC12 showed a police SUV driving forcing its way through a crowd seen blocking its path.

The video shows the SUV driving over a sidewalk before going back onto the road into the path of demonstrators.

“[Police] were moving in slowly, and people were not moving at all,” said a protester who wanted to go by ‘Montez’. He says he was at the Lee statue Saturday night and watched the situation unfold.

“Get out of the way!” one person can be heard yelling in the cell phone video as the Police SUV continues driving through the group blocking it.

It is not clear whether any protesters were struck by the SUV, though at least one protester seen grabbing the vehicle falls over.

The cell phone video later shows one person throwing an object at the police vehicle.

Police also say the officer may have been assaulted.

RPD says it happened around 9:30 Saturday night on North Allen Avenue, by the Lee Monument.

Police say they are now looking at the case in two parts: of a possible assault of an officer inside the vehicle, and also of the person who may have been struck by the vehicle, based on social media reports.

On Twitter, Mayor Levar Stoney called for a full investigation, saying that he’s asked the Commonwealth’s attorney to expedite this review, along with other cases from the last two weeks.

In addition, he says he’s instructed the police department to put the officer-involved on administrative leave, pending the investigation by the Commonwealth’s attorney.

Montez says up to that point, from what he saw, the protest had remained mostly peaceful - and had this message to police.

“I know you’re there to make sure nobody loots or destructs stuff, but if it’s peaceful, let it be peaceful,” he said.

Richmond Police Department is asking for anyone with information on what happened to call their non-emergency line at 646-5100.

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