RICHMOND, Va. -- Amid chants demanding his resignation, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney faced a crowd of protestors outside Richmond City Hall Tuesday.
He offered his apology for the Monday night tear-gassing of peaceful protestors who had gathered around the Robert E. Lee monument along Monument Avenue.
“We don’t want your apology we want your resignation today!” someone yelled from the crowd.
Many in the crowd seemed to be more interested in hearing the mayor and Richmond Police Chief William Smith resign. Neither offered their resignations, but both offered their apologies and promised changes in the way officers police the city. They also promised punishment for the officers involved.
“Every peaceful protestor, should be allowed to peacefully protest. That’s the bottom line. That is your right, and we violated that yesterday," the mayor said.
Stoney also asked to join Tuesday night’s protest. The request received a lukewarm response from the crowd, with many still calling for his resignation.
“We going to hold you accountable. I want to see the mayor. I want to see the police chief. I want to see the Governor on Facebook Live all day on the phones, so I can watch them," a Richmond man named Jerry said. "If they standing with us, that’s how they’re going to sustain!”
Mayor @LevarStoney asks protestors if he and Richmond Police can join Tuesday night's protest. There was some applause, but others loudly demanded he fire the police chief and resign. #RVA pic.twitter.com/nsYvgHL828— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 2, 2020
Video posted to social media of the Monday night incident showed a line of police launching tear gas toward a group of protesters, who appeared to be yards away from the officers and peacefully gathered on the grass near the statue.
Police Chief William Smith also apologized and also took a knee briefly after being invited to do so by a woman in the crowd.
Richmond Police chief briefly takes a knee with protestors outside Richmond City Hall. He's hearing from people upset and frustrated with the way police treat black and brown communities. pic.twitter.com/0V85RDOikJ— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 2, 2020
This is a developing story.