RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For several nights residents of the Fan District and Monument Avenue have been complaining about blaring horns, helicopters overhead, and threatening chants from demonstrators hours after midnight.
Some residents along Monument Avenue posted a cellphone video of protestors still at it around at 3:26 a.m. Thursday morning. Despite agreeing with the message behind the movement, residents say that the noise and the damage that happened to nearby businesses is keeping them up at night and afraid of what may happen next.
But at least one demonstrator who identifies herself as Silouh says there’s a different crowd that comes out after midnight.
“There are people who infiltrate our protest and are instigating and are throwing things and are out lashing at the cops and are saying very disrespectful things...they want the cops to fight against us,” Silouh said. “At the end of the day, the peaceful protestors are telling the violent protestors to back off.”
Silouh says she witnessed peaceful protestors get arrested for several nights after violent agitators spurred the on the police to use more aggressive measures to disperse the crowds. She believes it’s the same agitators who are deliberately threatening Monument Avenue residents, but demonstrators like Curtis Hazelton the ends justify the means.
“You have some people who are violent, you have some people who are just making noise after they are told to go home and you have others who are peacefully protesting, all of those movements still come together to make this larger movement and still make the point that we’re going to make that there’s no peace until there’s justice,” Hazelton said.
Hazelton says he’s been living on Monument Avenue for over five years and believes that in order for real change to happen, residents need to come out of their homes and speak with the demonstrators in order to reach a better understanding and solution.
“It’s kind of like when the cops say ‘alright, a few bad apples don’t define the whole batch'... that’s what we’re dealing with - a few bad apples or a few people who are angry enough to destroy things, they don’t define the whole movement.,” Hazelton said. “There is no peace until there is justice, granted even if there are people who show up later, it’s not that they’re doing anything violent, but they are noisy and they’re here. They’re here when they’re told not to be.”
“I’ve been telling people to move their cars out of traffic so that we can keep everything legal, but at the end of the day we can’t sleep until justice is served to all of the people that are wrongfully killed,” Siloh said.
Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.