Violent protests and civil unrest continue to sweep across the United States, and police confronted protesters in Virginia after riots erupted in Portland and Seattle during another night of chaos.
Six people were arrested in Richmond on Friday night after protesters clashed with police and threw paintballs and other “hard objects” at them, police said.
Chaos erupted near the Robert E. Lee statue, where a crowd of 75 to 100 people had gathered and remained at 10 p.m., despite the grounds being closed at dusk.
Richmond police declared an illegal assembly minutes after protesters began shooting paintballs at officers, leaving four police officers and one soldier injured.
An officer required hospital treatment after being hit in the back of the helmet with a hard object, authorities said.
Violent scenes unfolded on the grounds of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond on Friday night, where protesters clashed with police.
VA state police released body camera images they say show fireworks launched by protesters
Protesters confront police during a protest against racial inequality outside the Richmond City Hall on Tuesday.
The monument has become a site of recent clashes and riots as protesters call for the removal of the Confederate statues.
Chaos erupted on Friday near the Robert E. Lee statue, where a crowd of 75 to 100 people had gathered and remained at 10 p.m., despite the grounds being closed at sunset. Photo Shows: Crowds gather around the disfigured monument earlier this month.
The RPD said they did not use tear gas on the protesters, but an officer discharged pepper spray at one point “due to continued assaults by the crowd.”
Five adults and a minor were arrested in the confrontation. His charges range from illegal assembly, obstruction of justice, intrusion, and assault to a law enforcement officer.
Shortly after the area was cleared at 11:30 a.m., protesters allegedly began firing fireworks “at the police,” VA state police said.
The department released body camera images showing the explosives released.
“At least one of the protester’s fireworks went out of control and hit an individual in the media,” state police said.
The monument has become a site of recent clashes and riots as protesters call for the removal of statues, obelisks and other Confederate monuments across the country.
SEATTLE: On Friday, a group of rioters were seen throwing rocks at Seattle’s West Precinct, breaking one of the windows
Photos on social media showed damage to windows after angry protesters tore them apart
SEATTLE: A person attempts to remove a hammer from a man on the left who was using it to remove artwork on barricades on Friday in the CHOP (Capitol Hill Protest) zone in Seattle on Friday.
SEATTLE: Protesters lie down and sit on the street after Seattle Department of Transportation workers and heavy equipment arrived at the CHOP with the intention of removing the barricades.
The 12-ton, 21-foot statue of Lee is especially symbolic in Richmond, the former Confederation capitol.
Friday’s skirmish comes amid weeks of protests in the United States, triggered by the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Across the country, on the west coast, protests in Seattle and Portland have turned into chaos as police precincts are under siege.
Seattle officials have come under increasing pressure to regain control of the city where protesters established a “police-free” Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).
On Friday, a group of rioters were seen throwing rocks at Seattle’s West Precinct, breaking one of the windows, KOMO-TV reported.
Officers dressed in riot gear quickly intervened and dispersed the crowds. No officer was injured.
The protests continued into the night in Portland after the North Police Precinct was set on fire that same morning.
Video footage released Friday by Portland police showed the moment a man was assaulted by “violent protesters” in the center.
PORTLAND: Photo released by the Portland Police Department shows damage to buildings after protesters destroyed businesses and set fire to an compound early that morning.
PORTLAND: Videos and images posted on social media by protester James Martin showed several separate fires set up in barricades placed between protesters and police on Thursday night and through Friday morning.
PORTLAND: Demonstrations turned violent in Portland Thursday night and Friday morning, with protesters starting several fires and police firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse crowds.
The group was seen hitting and kicking a man between Morrison Street and 4th Avenue around 4 am Wednesday, local news station KOIN reported.
One of the attackers was reportedly seen with a gun before the attack, police said.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan met with protesters on Friday after some lay on the street or sat on barricades to thwart the city’s efforts to dismantle a ‘busy’ protest zone that has despised the president. Trump and a lawsuit from nearby companies.
The teams arrived with heavy equipment early Friday morning at the busy protest on Capitol Hill, a busy protest area in Seattle, ready to dismantle the barriers set up after protesters seized the area on June 8 after clashes with the police. But by mid-morning, they seemed to have retired rather than risk conflict.
A spokesperson said Friday night that the mayor met with black ministers and some of the organizers and suggested “steps that she believes can be taken in the coming days, including removing the barriers to create more access.”
Seattle police had no plans to return this weekend to a nearby compound that was abandoned after clashes with protesters, Durkan’s spokesman said.