Police: 233 arrested Sunday; most not from Richmond

America Protests Virginia
Posted at 1:29 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 21:17:12-04

RICHMOND, Va. – More than 200 people were arrested Sunday night during the third night of protests in the city of Richmond, according to Richmond Police. More than half of those arrested came from outside of Richmond to protest, demonstrate, or riot, Richmond Police Chief William Smith said.

“We have arrested people from not necessarily in Richmond, but throughout residents of the entire state and out of state as well. We've identified a number of other actors that we're pursuing for violence across state lines,” Chief Smith said.

Despite a new curfew in effect, demonstrators marched through parts of Virginia’s capital city Sunday, expressing frustration over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.

“I want to point out we had a protest of about 900 people [Sunday afternoon] in downtown that was completely peaceful and completely appropriate. The protests scheduled for today we feel are going to be completely peaceful. We appreciate the organizers flexing their schedule and change their itinerary. And we stand in solidarity with our groups today. We stand in solidarity with everybody who has outrage over the incidents that have occurred in Minneapolis,” Chief Smith said before addressing the arrests that came later Sunday night. “We made no arrests whatsoever for curfew unless you were involved in violence and destruction of our city. We will not allow people to come in and hijack legitimate acts to disrupt our city. What's happened over the last three days is an absolute shame. The people that we arrested, we're going to post and make sure everybody knows who the people are that have come down to our town and hurt our city, our citizens and try and threaten our safety. It's clear from last night's actions. We gave early warnings, we gave great latitude. Persons in the crowd fired tear gas at us initially, destruction followed. We made initial arrests and violence continued, fires set throughout downtown into the Fan."

America Protests Richmond
A car explodes as firefighters attempt to douse the flames as protesters march through downtown during a third night of unrest Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a curfew for this evening. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Additionally, Smith said 23 guns were seized as a result of the arrests. Six of the guns had been stolen from a Broad Street pawn shop the night before.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney requested an 8 p.m. curfew in the city after two nights of rioting. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency across Virginia on Sunday, approving the curfew and activating the Virginia National Guard.

America Protests Richmond
A protester tosses a smoke bomb towards police during a third night of unrest Sunday May 31, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Gov. Ralph Northam issued a curfew for this evening. The smoke bomb was ignited by a protester. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

During a press conference Monday, Smith addressed reports of people being arrested on their front porches.

“There were people arrested off the front porches. Those are protesters who ran on the front porches to evade capture,” he said. “So we had great surveillance throughout the entire event, our air unit did a fantastic job. And we're tracking people who were fleeing both in vehicles and on foot. We wanted to make sure that we captured and identified as many people as possible.”

The chief also stated there was no “use of force by officers.”

“Everybody who is taken into custody were done so with respect,” he said, “We do care for the safety of our officers and for all of our citizens and other protesters.”

The curfew will be in effect for the City of Richmond from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. extending through Wednesday, June 3.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.

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