RPD on RVA protests: Arrests not the answer

RPD on RVA protests: Arrests not the answer

You asked. We listened. When protesters block streets demanding justice it puts lives in danger.

We took your questions to Richmond Police to find out why more isn't being done to stop it.

RVA has seen at least 12 protests and the message is the same each time.

"Black Lives matter!" chant protesters.

But with protesters staging "die-ins" that bring traffic to a standstill many took to our NBC12 Facebook page in outrage.

"Idotic," said an NBC12 Facebook fan. "This is not how you protest!"

"One of these days they are gonna block an emergency vehicle trying to save someone," said another NBC12 Facebook fan.

We took your concerns to Richmond Police.

"We're not going to arrest our way out of a situation like this," said Major Steve Drew who notes blocking roadways is not legally acceptable. "Could we make an arrest? Yes. is that the best answer? I would say no. Lets understand what the problem is."

Major Drew is teaming with radio personality Community Clovia to meet with protesters and hear their concerns. The event is being called Peeps and Police.

"Yes," said Community Clovia. "Community conversation and not a confrontation."

Community Clovia will serve as moderator. Police and internal affairs representatives will be on hand for those wishing to discuss the process for filing complaints or for those who simply want to know their rights.

"We don't want others from other cities and towns to come into our community disrupting stuff," said Clovia. "So if we can have a conversation. What is that you want? What is not happening? Lets talk about it together."

Major Drew notes the protests have remained peaceful. There have been no reports of injuries or property damage.

Those protestors are meeting with Richmond Police next month to talk about their concerns. That public forum is set for Tuesday, February 10th from 6:30 to 8 in the evening. It will be held at the Richmond Police Training Academy.

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