RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Police declared an ‘unlawful assembly’ at the Robert E. Lee Monument for a fourth consecutive night and made four arrests throughout the evening.
Police say a group of protesters gathered on the grounds on Wednesday night, defying the new rule banning gatherings there after sunset.
At 11:06 p.m., RPD announced over a bullhorn that protesters were trespassing and needed to leave. At 11:28 p.m., an unlawful assembly was declared after police say protesters started throwing rocks at law enforcement. At 11:30 p.m., Virginia State Police said the grounds were cleared and no use of force was used.
After protesters dispersed from the Lee Monument, RPD received a report of glass breaking and an explosion at the Starbucks on North Robinson Street. When officers arrived, they found a brick and lit flare that were thrown through the store window. There are no reports of injuries.
Protesters also marched toward the Matthew Fontaine Maury statue on Monument Avenue. An NBC12 photographer was there and says people tied a rope around the statue and tried to pull it down. After failing to do so, the group left.
At one point, the group took to the streets.
The windows at the Whole Foods on West Broad Street were smashed out and the Maury Monument was defaced for a second time.
Protesters also smashed several windows at District 5 Restaurant on East Main Street.
Owners said this could cost thousands of dollars in damage.
“I woke up to some horns honking around 2:30 a.m. and just peeped out the window. I could see the traffic was backed up and they had their blinkers on and I could see they were part of a protest obviously,” one man said as protesters went by.
Police say four people were arrested throughout the evening. Here’s a look at the Richmond Police Department’s timeline of the night:
5:38 p.m. – Reminder about Robert E. Lee Monument grounds closing at sunset posted on social media
8:35 p.m. – Sunset in Richmond, VA; approximately 300 protesters remain on Lee Monument grounds
10:50 p.m. – Police arrive at Lee Monument; protesters form “shield wall”
11:06 p.m. – Police make trespassing announcement via bullhorn
11:25 p.m. – Police approach protesters to enforce trespassing violations; protesters move into the roadway off of the Lee Monument grounds
11:28 p.m. – Unlawful Assembly declared when the crowd throws rocks at police; upon declaration, the majority of protesters disperse and one arrested for Unlawful Assembly (Class 1 misdemeanor).
11:35 p.m. – 1:35 a.m. – Protesters march throughout the City, ending at Monroe Park. During the march, protesters break windows at Whole Foods on W Broad St and vandalize Maury Monument; windows of Starbucks store on N Robinson St broken out and flare thrown inside (possibly protest-related).
1:37 a.m. – Protesters spray paint VCU security cameras
2:00 – 3:00 a.m. – Approximately 150 protesters continue marching through the Fan District; protesters break windows at District 5 restaurant
3:15 a.m. – Multiple arrests on N Allen St: first for Interfering with an Aircraft by pointing a laser (Class 6 felony); second for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officer who was struck in the face with a shield (Class 6 felony); third for Obstructing Justice (Class 1 misdemeanor)
3:55 a.m. – Most protesters disband
Police released the names of the people arrested on Thursday.
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