See below for video (source: NBC12) and highlights from the press conference, held a few minutes ago, at which Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith spoke about the violence that took place last night. I only caught the last 6 minutes or so of the press conference, so here are some tweets by journalist Brandon Jarvis. who has been doing superb work covering events in Richmond in recent months – including last night. In short:
- Chief Smith said he believes the protest flyer (see here and below) originated from “outside of Richmond.”
- Chief Smith said that firefighters were being hit by projectiles, leading to the use of chemical agents by police.
- Chief Smith thanked Black Lives Matter for sharing the flyer and for not participating in last night’s events.
- Mayor Stoney thanked the Richmond Police Department, peaceful protesters, Black Lives Matter and the Richmond Fire Department.
- Mayor Stoney said what happened last night was “violence” which “takes us backwards,” and “unacceptable in the city of Richmond.” He called it “disgusting” that white supremacists were spearheading this event, with the intent of undermining the peaceful protesters and the work the community has been doing the past few months.
- Mayor Stoney thanked BLM protesters who decried the white supremacists there last night, and said the city will bring justice to those who incited violence and destroyed property.
- Chief Smith said he believes that “Antifa” – and those “influenced” by “Antifa” – was present last night, and that the police have identified “Boogaloo Boys” in attendance. He said the police are continuing to investigate and asked for the media to share their video footage with the police. Smith added that the “majority of those individuals who were there last night were caucasian.”