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Whoever lifted Marcus-Davis Peters Circle sign may be 'trying to spark more violence,' police warn

Police: Department 'stands with peaceful demonstrators'
Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 15:04:42-04

RICHMOND, Va -- Authorities are asking for the public's help after the sign installed by protesters in honor of a man shot and killed by police has disappeared from Monument Avenue this weekend.

"No city agency was involved - including the RPD," a police department spokesperson said Sunday. "It is illegal to remove signage without permission. Whoever did this may be trying to spark more violence in the City of Richmond."

Protesters, who have used the area around the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as a gathering place to speak out against police brutality and call for social justice, renamed the area around the monument as Marcus-David Peters Circle. It is unclear what, if any, permission protesters sought to install the sign on state property.

Peters was fatally shot by a Richmond police officer in 2018. The shooting was later investigated and ruled a justifiable shooting. Protesters are asking for the case to be reopened.

"Please know that the RPD stands with peaceful demonstrators and will not tolerate those who seek a different, destructive path," a police spokesperson said.

Last month historical markers installed by a group of local historians in front of several Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, before their removal by city crews, were ripped out of the ground.

“Someone wanted Richmond to stop learning about our history,” the group, “History is Illuminating,” posted on Instagram.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 804 780-1000 or use the P3 smartphone app.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.