RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police announced officers made seven arrests early Wednesday morning following a day and night of peaceful protests in the city.
“Unfortunately, just after midnight, small groups of protesters broke away from the main group. We then began receiving reports of random gunfire in various areas – a few blocks from the remaining demonstrators,” a Richmond Police spokesperson said. “Officers responded quickly, stopped multiple cars believed to be involved, and engaged in a foot pursuit.”
Officers reported finding empty vehicles with bullet holes along the 500 block of West Grace Street
In addition to the seven arrests, police said officers recovered:
- Five handguns
- Two sets of ballistic body armor
- Two gas masks
- Accelerants and bottles
Richmond Police have not released the names of those arrested but said two of the seven had home addresses listed within city limits.
5th day of protests was mostly peaceful. RPD officers are working tirelessly to ensure the City of Richmond is safe for its citizens. Peaceful demonstrators continue to be infiltrated by those w/ destructive and/or potentially violent intent. Full update - https://t.co/JoFcemimC8 pic.twitter.com/ApKcy83TK1— Richmond Police (@RichmondPolice) June 3, 2020
“Officers are working tirelessly to ensure the City of Richmond is safe for its citizens,” the police spokesperson said. “ Peaceful demonstrators continue to be infiltrated by those with destructive and/or potentially violent intent – many of whom are not from Richmond.”
Prior to the arrests, police said the protests on Tuesday were “mostly peaceful.”
"Demonstrations began early yesterday evening and went until approximately midnight – with a smaller group continuing to protest a little longer. We thank the protesters who adhered to the curfew order, which expired today at 6 a.m.,” the spokesperson continued. “We will continue to respect the rights of those who want to peacefully protest, but will protect our city from those who seek to harm our residents and damage property.”
On Monday night and again on Tuesday morning, Richmond Police apologized after officers launched tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protestors surrounding the Lee monument. A similar protest Tuesday night was held without incident.