Richmond police arrest over 200 during curfew on 3rd night of protests

Photo: NBC12
Photo: NBC12(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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Richmond police say they made more than 200 arrests after the third night of protests in the city.

The arrests were made Sunday, the first night of an 8 p.m. citywide curfew imposed after some protesters smashed windows, vandalized businesses and set a police car and a city bus on fire during earlier protests.

Police had said Sunday night, around 9:45 p.m., that at least two dozen people had been arrested, but Richmond police Chief William Smith updated that number during a news conference Monday, saying a total of 233 people had been arrested.

Smith also said that 50 percent of the arrests were people who did not live in Richmond.

Police also said a total of 23 guns were seized on Sunday night.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports police used tear gas and pepper spray on demonstrators, who started marching downtown from the defaced Robert E. Lee statue shortly after the curfew took effect.

After the arrests broke up the large group of protesters, small pockets of people gathered around downtown and the Virginia Commonwealth University campus.

Meanwhile, a man who was hit by gunfire while riding in a car near protesters early Sunday morning remained hospitalized for a life-threatening gunshot wound, police said.

Police said gunfire shot from behind the car struck the man as he passed through protesters. Authorities learned about the shooting after being called to a hospital where the man was being treated. Authorities did not identify the victim.

Gov. Ralph Northam activated the National Guard in a state of emergency declaration issued Sunday afternoon.

Some protesters sprayed graffiti, including “Say His Name” and “George Floyd.” But there were fewer instances of vandalism Sunday. Businesses along Broad Street and elsewhere covered their windows with plywood after numerous businesses were vandalized Saturday and several of the city's Confederate monuments were covered in graffiti.

Peaceful protests occurred throughout the day Sunday before the demonstration that ultimately ended in arrests, with many protesters decrying the violence and destruction caused by rioters the night before.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney issued a curfew for the city of Richmond on Sunday after calling the previous two nights of unrest in Richmond an “insult to the cause” as protesters took to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd, a man killed by a police officer in Minnesota.

The mayor held a press conference Sunday morning accompanied by members of Richmond City Council and announced that Governor Northam had granted his request for a curfew to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The curfew will run until 6 a.m. nightly through Wednesday, June 3.

The protests in Virginia were similar to those across the nation in response to Floyd's death in Minneapolis last week. Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died after pleading for air as a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck.