6 arrests at Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, where police say protesters fired paintballs at officers

The protest, a mile from downtown Richmond, was the latest in a series of daily gatherings near the monument, where people have been protesting against police brutality and racial injustice, reported CNN affiliate WTVR.
The presence of the Confederate General’s statue has also been a source of tension, with some people urging its removal and others demanding to keep it.

Richmond Police and Virginia State Police said they arrived at the monument around 10 p.m. to disperse a crowd of between 75 and 100 people because the monument’s park is closed after sunset.

Although some protesters left, others remained and one person or people shot paintballs, hitting four officers and one soldier, police said.

Police later declared the meeting illegal and said that anyone who stayed would be arrested.

People also threw things at officers, police said. At some point, people fired fireworks at soldiers, according to the Virginia State Police.

At least one fireworks “went out of control” and hit one person in the median, state police said.

In body camera images released by the state police, at least one pyrotechnician is seen flying over the heads of the soldiers.

At 11:35 pm, the police had arrested five adults and a minor. All six were detained on initial charges of trespassing or trespassing.

The minor was also accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer, accused of shooting paintballs, police said.

A Richmond police officer used pepper spray once “due to the continued assaults by the crowd,” police said.

Tension in Richmond

Richmond, like many cities across the country, has seen numerous protests against it since the death last month in police custody of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis.
Confederate statues are falling after George Floyd's death.  This is what we know.
Richmond protesters have often gathered near monuments for Confederate figures such as Lee, whose statue depicts the general riding a horse. Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy during the vast majority of the Civil War.
Confederate monuments have been the subject of debate across the country, particularly since Dylan Roof killed nine African-Americans in a South Carolina church in 2015. It has erupted again since Floyd’s death in May, as protesters demand the end of police brutality against people of color. Some also advocate the removal of the monuments, pointing to the Confederation’s legacy of slavery.
On June 10, protesters in Richmond demolished a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. People also tried to tear down a statue of the Confederate Army General JEB Stuart in Richmond on June 21.

CNN’s Elisha Ebrahimji, Artemis Moshtaghian, Lauren M. Johnson, and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.


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