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2 men arrested outside governor’s mansion in Richmond

Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-02 18:18:00-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Authorities said two people were arrested Saturday afternoon for protesting outside the Executive Mansion in Richmond.

Capitol Police said the men yelling outside the main gate of the Gov. Ralph Northam's residence shortly after 12:30 p.m.

That is when officials said Capitol Police officers told the pair they needed a permit to protest inside Capitol Square grounds.

"Police asked the two to voluntarily leave, and when they refused, they were taken into custody," Capitol Police officials said.

Fifty-one-year-old Neil E. Wolfe, of the 3900 block of Fenwick Street in Richmond, and 23-year-old Mark A. Sfeir, of the 700 block of Merrimans Lane in Winchester, were arrested and charged with trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.

Dozens of people protested outside the governor’s mansion Saturday morning to demand Northam's resignation. The protest follows the discovery Friday afternoon of a photo showing a man wearing blackface and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe that appeared in Northam's 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.

In a news conference Saturday afternoon, Northam said he does not believe he is either person in the photo.

“I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo,” Northam said. “This was not me in that picture. That was not Ralph Northam.”

Despite numerous calls for him to resign, Northam said he would not do so.

“I intend to continue doing the business of Virginia,” he said, adding that resigning would be the easier way out.