Protests in the City of Richmond took a turn for the worse late Tuesday night as vandalism and violence broke out, damaging multiple city buildings.
The James Center, Sun Trust building, John Marshall Courts Building, and other city buildings in Richmond had their windows smashed in by a group of roughly 50 people, The Washington Post reports.
Ben Dennis with 8News captured photos of the damage, which included 20 glass panels at the John Marshall Courts Building
Four people were arrested Tuesday night for the riots and damage caused.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney responded to the violence, calling the vandalism “unacceptable and misguided.”
“Those intent on creating chaos and confrontation, who riot and commit violence against our community, will go to jail,” said Stoney. “Period.”
Stoney blamed a group called Richmond Strike for the damage, according to NBC12.
Richmond Strike is an activist group that describes itself as “an autonomous decentralized network for direct action in the colony called Richmond, Virginia,” according to its Twitter page.
Richmond Strike tweeted a flyer on the day the vandalism occurred, claiming that “the existence of police is brutality,” calling people to gather in Richmond that night.
“Mask up,” the flyer reads. “Wear Black. Be Prepared. Bring a comrade.”
Garren Shipley, the Director of Communications for the Republican Party of Virginia, noted in a newsletter that the demonstrations, which have continued for some over two months, have “led many supporters of the protests to begin questioning the ultimate goal of the daily demonstrations — and their support for them.”
Shipley referenced a report by The Post on the vandalism. In that article, some Richmond citizens that support the demonstrations spoke to how the continued unrest has weighed on them and their communities.
“Regular citizens [feel] caught in the middle,” Charlie Diradour told The Post.
Janice Nuckolls, a proclaimed “liberal Democrat,” told The Post that while she has been “sympathetic to [fighting] injustice and inequality,… it seems like right now the protesting and the destruction of private property has nothing to do with any of that.”
Richmond has seen non-stop protests for 76 days. Some demonstrations have turned into violent riots due to the actions and influence of some groups, including the domestic terrorist organization Antifa.
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Sam Medley is a journalist at the Tennessee Star and Star News Network. You can follow Sam at Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John Marshall Courts Building” by Taber Andrew Bain. CC BY 2.0.