2 arrested as police, protesters clash outside Richmond restaurant, GWARbar responds

Posted at 12:18 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 12:54:44-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two people were arrested following an incident in Richmond's Jackson Ward neighborhood Thursday night.

A WTVR CBS 6 News crew on the scene at about 11 p.m. said that three police vans and an armored police truck had arrived. The group was later seen outside GWARbar.

"Police became aware of a flyer promoting an event in the 200 block of West Clay Street with the potential for violence and vandalism. The flyer was shared by a group believed to be linked to recent riots," a Richmond Police spokesperson wrote in an email. "At approximately 10:20 p.m., officers arrived to monitor the area. After a confrontation with officers, [two people] arrested."

Knisya Johnson, according to police, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.

A court hearing is scheduled for January 2021.

Johnson, Knisya.JPG
Knisya Johnson

Another person, charged with conspiracy to incite a riot, had their charges dismissed during a November court appearance.

No details behind the dismissal of the charges were released.

GWARbar owner Michael Derks shared his perspective on the night in a lengthy Facebook post.

"I told the small group gathered there that I was the owner of the property and they had my permission to be there and asked them to come tell me if they were told they were trespassing. I simply didn't want to see this become one of those situations that we've all been seeing too often where people are arrested for seemingly no reason," he wrote. "I foolishly thought that I could act as an intermediary and be the voice of reason between the police and protesters. When the police advanced on the small crowd I came out to try and speak with them. The police said that they would need to see identification from everyone on the property and when the first person refused to produce ID, they were thrown to the ground and arrested."

The scene unfolded not far from Richmond City Councilwoman Kim Gray's home.

Protesters have previously challenged Gray’s stance on police reform and the related on-going protests.

RELATED: Councilwoman condemns police 'unsettling response' to protest at her home

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Protesters had previously gathered outside Gray's home in July. The councilwoman is running for mayor in November's election.

This is a developing story.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story and headline have been updated to reflect the latest reporting. A previous headline indicated interactions between protesters and police only took place outside the councilwoman's Richmond home.

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

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