RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With some recent demonstrations turning violent in Richmond, some residents along Monument Avenue tell 8News they’ve had enough.
Residents were seen trying to clean up the city by attempting to paint over the graffiti-riddled pedestal where the Jefferson Davis Statue once stood Thursday afternoon. Rioters made their way through the city earlier in the week, leaving many Monument Avenue residents on edge. Some say they’re even reluctant to share their opinions on the riots due to a fear of retaliation.
Some believe the message of the protests has been diluted, calling the recent riots a ‘misdirection of anger.’ Others, like Lester Morris Jr., believes a conversation needs to be held.
“It would be nice if everything goes right and they would stop and try to help instead of harm,” said Morris Jr., who has lived in Richmond for the last three years.
Rioters broke windows and damaged property city buildings in downtown Richmond on Tuesday night. The act of defiance resulted in multiple arrests, according to police. But not all residents are ready to vilify demonstrations that turn violent.
Some residents, like Melanie Metz, believe they’re witnessing history, having a front-row seat to a period for social change. Metz, who lives a block away from Monument Avenue, believes city demonstrations and vandalism sends a direct message.
“If this doesn’t happen, nobody’s going to listen,” Metz said. “I understand people have mixed feelings about it but I think that the uprising was actually an uplifting experience.”
According to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, those who choose not to demonstrate peacefully will be taken into custody. Richmond Police are investigating the recent riots in the city and say the department will make more arrests if necessary.