Four charged in overnight Richmond riot that left several buildings damaged; courthouse closed again Thursday

Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 9:17 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney says overnight rioting left 22 windows damaged at the John Marshall Courts Building and a trail of damage at other businesses in parts of downtown.

“If you want to break windows, damage property, vandalize and undermine this moment of pain, you’re going to be alone doing that,” said Stoney.

Stoney said the group called Richmond Strike is responsible for the damage.

Vandals sprayed graffiti in the area. Other buildings that were damaged include the Wells Fargo building, the Omni hotel and a Starbucks.

That group organized a Tuesday night solidarity event with other cities, they say, are fighting back against police brutality.

Police say four people - Julius Dela Cruz, Lakshmi Menon, Kyra Nguyen and Brian Quach - were charged with rioting.

Lakshmi Menon, Kyra Nguyen, Julius Dela Cruz and Brian Quach
Lakshmi Menon, Kyra Nguyen, Julius Dela Cruz and Brian Quach(Richmond Police)

“The vandalism of our courts building and downtown businesses last night was unacceptable and misguided,” said Mayor Levar Stoney in a statement. “Those working peacefully for change are welcome here. Those intent on creating chaos and confrontation, who riot and commit violence against our community, will go to jail. Period.”

Officers seized several items, including a metal crowbar and a hammer from those arrested.

Richmond strike is not offering up any comment at this point. NBC12 did reach out. Online, the group says it’s an autonomous decentralized network for direct action in Richmond.

Officers seized several items, including a metal crowbar and a hammer from those arrested.
Officers seized several items, including a metal crowbar and a hammer from those arrested.(Richmond Police Department)

“What happened at the courthouse was a travesty and the people who did this should be ashamed of themselves because they are the ones who are denying other people the access to justice they say they have been denied,” said Colette McEachin, Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.

That includes the now-delayed sentencing of Quinshawn Betts. He was supposed to go before a judge Wednesday, but with court closed that didn’t happen.

Betts is guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson during a Memorial Day weekend cookout.

“Markyia Dickson’s family was coming to court today to finally see one of the murderers of their daughters sentenced and that couldn’t happen because court was closed because people did this,” said McEachin.

Meanwhile, Stoney is promising even more arrests as a result of the rioting.

More than 60 days since the start of the unrest, the city’s deputy police chief says too many are more interested in causing destruction rather than doing something constructive.

“They’re not marching in those neighborhoods, why? Why aren’t they out there? What are they doing in these neighborhoods? No food drives, no help with shelter out there. All they’re doing is playing a game of destruction in our city,” said Deputy Chief Sydney Collier, Richmond Police Dept.

The John Marshall Courts Building will be closed again Thursday for repairs.

Anyone with further information on the evening is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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