Live from Virginia Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – live weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Live Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed Virginia Democratic state Senator Joe Morrissey to the show to discuss the recent violence taking place in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Fredericks: Joining us now state Senator from Petersburg. A Democrat. Joe Morrissey. Thanks for joining us man.
Morrissey: John, great to be with you this morning.
Fredericks: Let’s get to these riots going on last night Joe in Richmond. This is a city we both are in. We own businesses here. You have a home here. We have office buildings here. This is our home, right? Last night Richmond, no cops anywhere.
Windows were blown out at the Omni Hotel. Blown out of the John Marshall Hotel. Guests that were staying there petrified. No cops. Mobs blowing out hotel windows screaming and there is no police. Where’s Levar Stoney? What is going on in our city? Joe, what is happening to our city?
Morrissey: It is a disgrace and I don’t know why more Democrats aren’t speaking out. Let me be clear about the following. Let me be absolutely crystal clear. Those individuals that are involved in rioting and looting and destroying personal property, they should be arrested. They should be jailed. They should be punished. Period. Paragraph.
Let me tell you what’s going on. The mayor has lost all control of this situation. When 400 people showed up at the doorstep of City Hall with signs that say “Mayor Must Resign.” Then from that point on, he’s tried to curry favor with them. He’s not being a leader. It is amazing to me that he is apparently either telling the police to step down or the police are taking the cues from him. We have to have law and order. Nobody is a bigger champion than due process. Free speech. Defending the underdog than Joe Morrissey.
But let me tell you this. You cannot condone rioting, theft, looting, destruction of businesses and people’s property and there have got to be consequences. And it’s only happening in Richmond. I’m down in Petersburg all the time. They have peaceful protesters. The mayor has lost all the control of the situation and all he’s trying to do is resuscitate his career and it’s one bad step after another.
Fredericks: Why don’t we have this same type of looting going on and destruction in Petersburg?
Morrissey: Because you have leadership down there. The mayor in Petersburg said very early on, you can protest. Do as long as you want. As loud as you want. But we will not tolerate any violence. And he parted with them in a sense. The mayor on the other hand has done none of this. And it is just absolutely shameful. I am so disappointed to see the city that I love Richmond burned and scarred and littered and graffitied. It makes me sick. Here’s what’s going on John.
He lost it from the very beginning when he ordered the protesters’ police tear-gassed four or five weeks ago at 7:32 p.m. And then from that point on he has tried to pacify these protesters. At first, he gave them the head of the police chief. And then he hired another guy that shot an innocent person 18 years ago. Then he gave them their head.
Then he took down the monument overnight. Where was he in 2016 when I said, Lou Jefferson Davis? Where was he when the Monument Avenue tried to bring context to this. Nowhere around. Trying to curry White support. But then when his political career is on the brink of collapse he starts taking one action after another trying to get ahead of the curve. He’s behind the curve and it’s a disgrace. And the city is suffering. There, I’ve said it.
Fredericks: Well Joe, where is the governor? Where is Ralph Northam? He’s living right up the street. Where is his chief of staff Clark Mercer your buddy? I’m going to call every one of them out. Look, you guys have a special session coming on August 18. That’s Tuesday somewhere in downtown Richmond. All these legislators from Northern Virginia in their ivory towers and all these left-wingers that you have to deal with in your own party, they are all coming down. They are going to drive through it.
They’re going to see the broken windows. The property destroyed. The businesses put under. They are going to see graffiti. The F-word all over the place. Glass all over the street. This is our city. Where the hell are our leaders? Where is any of them? Why doesn’t the governor get out of there and make a statement and say hey, we’ve got to protect the city? Where’s the chief of staff Clark Mercer.
Where are they? Where’s the leadership? And it’s not just Stoney. It’s everybody. It’s even the Republicans. I haven’t heard a peep out of them either. They are destroying our city that you and I own businesses in and our families are here and they are destroying our city and there’s not a peep out of anybody.
Morrissey: Well you heard a peep out of me 10 minutes ago. And it was a very loud peep. I would agree with you John that there are many many Democrats. And I am a Democrat so I think it gives me a little more credibility to say it that they are remaining silent because they are afraid of offending the movement, OK? Well, let me say this. I support BLM.
I’ve got four African American children. But with that said you’ve got to speak out fellow politicians when something is horribly wrong. And when people loot and pillage and destroy innocent people’s property they have to speak out now. Now with regard to Mercer and Northam, John you can’t put them under that category. Both of them are law and order types.
Neither one of them has condoned those people who have defaced property. Who has destroyed innocent people’s property? If you look at what the governor has done around the state I think he’s made it very clear that he is very much in favor of law and order. So while some Democrats deserve criticism I respectfully suggest that Mercer and Northam aren’t two of them.
Fredericks: Well they haven’t done crap. OK? But right now this is their city. And I mean, you can’t go downtown. I had some customers in yesterday that came in flew in from South Dakota and Wyoming. I was embarrassed to drive them through my downtown. And I had to drive through it. And they said, where should I stay? And I wanted to say the Omni or the John Marshall. So you know where I suggested they stay last night? The Omni Hotel. They are calling me up at midnight about they are smashing the windows here! What the hell kind of a city is this?
Morrissey: Yep. I have spoken to residents that live on Monument Avenue near the Lee Circle. And they are petrified. I know an attorney who called me. He does real estate work for me. And he said they moved out of their home on Monument Avenue because they were accosted.
Fredericks: It’s unbelievable.
Morrissey: You know what he said to me that was frightening? He said, Joe, we, meaning he, his wife and neighbors are calling the police for protection and they are not showing up. So let me say it clearly and as clearly as I can. To those police, to the mayor, to those people of city hall you have got to protect the citizenry.
Fredericks: They aren’t going to do it.
Morrissey: Stop worrying about your political careers, OK? Stop worrying about it and protect the citizenry. That is job number one as mayor. John, I’m not mayor.
Fredericks: You should have been mayor. That’s why we supported you in 2016. None of this would be happening if you were mayor. You should have been mayor. Look, Levar Stoney is too busy. He’s got a lot of things on his plate. For instance, right in the middle of smashing windows and destroying cities and burning it down, what does Levar Stoney do? Does he send a letter to the governor may be saying hey we may need you to bring in the National Guard? No. He sends a letter to Governor Northam asking the legalization of pot. That’s his priority. (Morrissey laughs) Are you kidding me?
Listen to the full show here: