RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Mayor Levar Stoney announced Richmond would implement an 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew in the city of Richmond starting tonight, after two nights of riots.
Stoney did not say how long the curfew would last and added Gov. Ralph Northam has also made national guard troops available to the city.
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“I think it’s time we say enough is enough and this must end,” he said.
Over the last two nights, protests turned to riots as demonstrators damaged property around the city, set fires and even shot a man. Stoney the violence and destruction across the city is not the Richmond he knows.
“We saw local business, some black-owned businesses, that have served Richmond for decades vandalized and looted … bricks have flown through the windows of a synagogue,” he said.
He said when people block firefighters from entering a person’s home and destroy
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“That’s an insult to the cause,” he said. “We all know what happened in Minneapolis. Those actions are an insult to the cause.”
He said people looting stores and burning buses was an insult to George Floyd’s memory and was not progress for black America.
“Don’t kid yourself,” he said.
Richmond Police Chief William C. Smith said the protests have started out peaceful each night and turned violent. He said the people who come to peacefully protests leave when the violence begins. Smith added Friday night’s protests were was a bigger crowd and much more peaceful.
He police are looking into people from outside the RVA area and state attending these protests who are suspected of stirring up some of the violence.
The chief said some protesters set an occupied building on fire and then prevented officials from going inside. The chief had to pause because he started tearing up. He said they managed to save everyone.
“When you take a legitimate issue and hijack it for unknown reasons. That is unacceptable to me, that is unacceptable to the Richmond Police department,” Smith said.
Stoney said he was thankful to the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Fire Department and Richmond Ambulance Authority for serving the community during these riots.
The protests and riots were in response to the death of George Floyd, who was seen on video being pinned down by three Minneapolis officers while in police custody. One officer, Derek Chauvin, is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he continuously yells in distress.
Following the nationwide outrage, Chauvin was fired and has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
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