Richmond Mayor Stoney marches with demonstrators after apology over tear gas Tuesday afternoon


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WAVY) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney addressed growing calls for him to resign while walking alongside demonstrators during Tuesday’s protest in the city.

Earlier in the day, the mayor spoke with hundreds of people outside City Hall who were upset with Richmond police who threw tear gas at protestors before Monday’s 8 p.m. curfew. The crowd demanded for Stoney, RPD Chief William Smith and others to step aside as a result and some challenged the mayor to march with them later in the day.

8News’ Ben Dennis caught up with Stoney during the Tuesday’s march and spoke with him about his decision to join protestors and pressure put on him to resign.

“Because number one, I’m a man of my commitment,” Stoney said when asked why he was walking with protestors. “I apologized today for what happened with the tear-gassing and so, they asked me to walk with them and here I am. I feel and support the pain that they’re feeling. As a black man, I’ve experienced some of what we’ve been seeing in the images and I’m here to express my opinion as well.”

As of 8:15 p.m., hundreds of demonstrators remained around the Robert E. Lee monument — where several canisters of tear gas were deployed on protesters the day before — past the city’s curfew on Tuesday. The crowd has been heard chanting “We’re not leaving! We’re not leaving!”

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) marched with demonstrators in Richmond, where protests have taken place over the last four days following the death of George Floyd. Fairfax tweeted out his intentions earlier in the day with a message for Richmond police to “put your tear-gas away and listen.”

8News was told that Fairfax plans to be out in the city past the curfew.

An increasing public presence of the National Guard comes after protests Monday where tear gas was fired at demonstrators near the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond before the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. Richmond’s mayor and its police chief apologized after videos surfaced on social media of people being gassed before the curfew was in effect.

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