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Police launch tear gas to disperse crowd on Broad Street

Posted at 11:48 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 02:15:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd around 11 p.m. as a second night of protests left windows shattered at some businesses along Broad Street in downtown Richmond.

Crime Insider Jon Burkett said he saw a convoy of state troopers coming down Broad Street around 10: 50 p.m.

"We saw a crowd of a couple hundred people that was heading west on Broad Street," Burkett said. "That crowd has since diminished and actually police set up a barricade here, launched some tear gas and flushed them north."

That crowd appeared to move north to historic Jackson Ward, Burkett said.

Rioters shattered windows and damaged an ATM machine at the Wells Fargo bank at 2nd and Grace streets.

"We've seen on the stretch of Broad Street here several businesses that have windows broken out," Burkett said. "The art gallery actually had either the owner or a worker inside guarding his business down there. And on the way here, we saw a knife -- a kitchen knife -- in the middle of the street."

Burkett said it appeared Richmond Police were caught off guard by Friday's protest, so officials beefed up for Saturday night anticipating more of the protests.

"They are ready tonight. They got the chopper above, they got state police," Burkett said. "I talked to one of my sources who said that Chesterfield County Police they were instrumental last night in mutual aid coming to this area because they had a lot of officers that were dealing with bus fires and everything else, so they needed some reinforcement from Henrico and Chesterfield last night."

None of those officers were spotted Saturday, but Burkett said state police were out "in full force."

The crowd was later spotted moving back down Broad Street to VCU's campus and eventually to the Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart statues on Monument Avenue.

WTVR CBS 6 is monitoring this event, while keeping our distance afar to protect our news crews. There has been a great deal of violence against journalists over the last 48 hours and we want to keep you informed, but will put the safety of our employees first. In fact, we have multiple security guards with our crews to help avoid danger, rather than go into it.