Police warn of arrests after protesters attempt to camp out, block off area near Richmond City Hall

RPD declared an unlawful assembly for second consecutive night

Police warn of arrests after protesters attempt to camp out, block off area near Richmond City Hall

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tensions flared between police and protesters in Richmond for the second consecutive night.

Police say demonstrators formed an unlawful assembly at Richmond City Hall early Tuesday, prompting warnings that people would be arrested if they didn’t leave the area.

Protesters had been gathering there in tents since earlier in the evening, with cars blocking the road, watching a movie they set up on a projector. They deemed the area “Reclamation Square” with a sign.

At 12:45 a.m., Richmond police called the gathering an unlawful assembly due to sit-ins, sit-downs, blocking traffic and blocking entrances and exits to public buildings and told the group to disperse.

Eventually, police in riot gear formed a blockade on 10th street to move protestors back several blocks away from city hall.

Protesters then set up another one of their own blockades.

Police say protesters were blocking traffic and blocking entrances and exits to public buildings when they declared an "unlawful assembly" and told the group to disperse.
Police say protesters were blocking traffic and blocking entrances and exits to public buildings when they declared an "unlawful assembly" and told the group to disperse. (Source: NBC12/Eric Everington)

Police deployed some sort of chemical agent to get people to break up the assembly.

There’s no word yet on if arrests have been made.

The night before, six people were arrested at the J.EB. Stuart statue where a protest there was also deemed unlawful by police after they say people attached ropes to the statue and threw bottles at police.

All of this comes after city and state officials indefinitely shut down gatherings at the monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from sunset to sunrise. The officials say the statue will be closed each night for safety reasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.