1:15 a.m. update: A third night of protesting in Richmond – and the first with a state-ordered curfew – unfolded without the destruction that took place previously, but police arrested dozens for staying out past 8 p.m.
Roughly two dozen people had been detained by police as of 9:45 p.m., with others not yet reported as police and the National Guard, activated by Gov. Ralph Northam earlier in the day, swept downtown streets. They used tear gas and pepper spray on demonstrators, who started marching downtown from the defaced Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue shortly after the curfew took effect.
Hundreds of marchers, chanting “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter,” made their way downtown via Franklin and Broad streets, ending up facing law enforcement from the intersection of 12th and Broad streets. Police deployed tear gas, leading the protesters into the streets surrounding the VCU Medical Center, where the first arrests were made. More people were arrested along Leigh Street.
After the arrests broke up the large group of protesters, small pockets of people gathered around downtown and the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. Police departments from Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico counties, along with the National Guard, were among the law enforcement agencies enforcing the curfew, which is in effect through 6 a.m.
Northam activated the National Guard in a state of emergency declaration issued Sunday afternoon, part of which put the curfew in place for the capital city, which has been home to the state’s largest protests since the death of unarmed black man George Floyd last week.
The curfew will be in place until Wednesday morning.
Peaceful protests occurred throughout the day Sunday before the demonstration that ultimately ended in arrests, with many protesters decrying the violence and destruction caused by rioters the night before.
Marchers gathered at the Lee monument, still covered in graffiti from Saturday night, when no curfew was in place.
Shortly after 8 p.m., the protesters, who aren’t included in the exceptions listed in Northam’s order, marched peacefully. The city’s emergency communications system, normally used for severe weather, called city residents to notify them of the curfew during the march’s early stages.
Some protesters sprayed graffiti – “Say His Name” and “George Floyd” were among the more popular phrases – but instances of vandalism were scant compared to Saturday, which prompted businesses along Broad Street and elsewhere to cover their windows in plywood to deter looting or vandalism.
Sunday’s march began to unravel on Broad and 6th streets, the first time police sought to divide the protesters. They were able to regroup on Franklin Street and march to the State Capitol, where members of the Capitol Police, two of whom were injured Saturday night, looked on behind three levels of barriers.
Police-deployed tear gas caused protesters to retreat to 12th Street and Broad, where they assembled as a large group for the last time – broken up shortly after by the first wave of arrests.
“Go home or you will be arrested,” police continued to say into their intercoms as Sunday turned to Monday.
Police used pepper spray on a reporter for Virginia Public Media after he displayed his press credential while covering the demonstration; the curfew order exempted members of the press.
“We are taking all necessary steps to protect our colleagues and their right to report the news,” said Jayme Swain, VPM’s CEO, in a statement about the incident.
As of midnight, some people still congregated on corners along Broad Street as police patrolled the streets, arresting those who remained out.
- Justin Mattingly and Mark Robinson
9:45 p.m. update:
Richmond Police tweeted:
"A large group of protestors are in violation of tonight’s curfew in Richmond. Arrests have begun. Approximately two dozen people are in custody."
9:15 p.m. update:
At least a dozen people were detained after police cornered protesters near the VCU Medical Center.
Before protesters ran up 11th Street, police deployed some tear gas. At least two people were detained on Marshall Street and more were detained on Leigh Street.
It is unclear if the remaining protesters have dispersed or are elsewhere.
8:45 p.m. update
Demonstrators in Richmond have made their way downtown.
They are walking down East Broad Street in the Arts District heading east. Police lights can be seen near Richmond City Hall.
The city’s emergency communications system, normally used for severe weather, called city residents to notify them of the curfew.
8 p.m. update:
With Richmond under curfew, a group of several hundred protesters have left the Robert E. Lee statue for a march downtown.
The protesters, chanting “I Can’t Breathe,” are not among those exempted from the curfew ordered by Gov. Ralph Northam at the request of Mayor Levar Stoney on Sunday.
That curfew runs from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Violators face charges of a class one misdemeanor, which carries with it up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The group had congregated at the Lee statue for several hours before the curfew. The statue was one of several monuments and dozens of buildings tagged with graffiti during protests Saturday night.
4:15 p.m. update:
Violators of Richmond's curfew, which is set to start at 8 p.m. Sunday, will be charged with a class one misdemeanor.
Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Sunday after two nights of violent protests across Virginia, most notably in Richmond, where dozens of businesses were looted or vandalized. Northam's order provides more information on the curfew Richmond will soon be under that Mayor Levar Stoney announced Sunday morning.
“This emergency declaration will provide the necessary support to localities as they work to keep our communities safe," Northam said in a statement. "There are many voices speaking out for justice and healing across the United States and in our Commonwealth, but others are exploiting this pain and inciting violence.”
The curfew will extend from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through June 3.
Under the curfew, residents aren't allowed on streets, roads, alleys, avenues parks or other public spaces in the city, according to the order. These are the exceptions:
• Persons traveling to and from home, work, or places of worship;
• Hospital personnel;
• Members of the press; State and City of Richmond employees and volunteers;
• Military personnel including but not limited to national guard troops;
• Private emergency medical transport workers;
• Persons seeking emergency services; and
• Other emergency workers.
"Violation of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia," the order reads.
While the curfew runs until 6 a.m. June 3 - Northam can extend it - the state of emergency is until June 29.
12:35 p.m. update: An event scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Reconciliation Statue featuring Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, has been postponed.
It will instead be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Richmond NAACP President J.J. Minor said.
A block from the statue, hundreds of protesters have arrived at the 17th Street Farmers Market after marching from Brown’s Island.
Organizers said they plan on remaining there until 6 p.m.
12:20 p.m. update: Balance Bicycle shop, on the 900 block of West Broad Street, two blocks west of Belvidere, announced on its website Sunday that it was broken into and looted during the protests that raged through Richmond overnight.
It is closed indefinitely.
Here's the statement the company posted on its website:
"Balance Bicycle shop was broken into and looted during the overnight riots. A majority of our inventory was taken, to include every customer bike that dropped off and left with us. We don't have any answers just yet, and we will be reaching out to all of our customers who had bikes in for service over the next week. Our phone lines are off right now, so please use the form below as we begin to understand the devastation. I will be working with our insurance company moving forward. I have no words, only tears as 10 years of my life evaporates in 1 night."
11:05 a.m. update: Shattered glass, broken windows and the smell of smoke were evident all along Broad Street on Sunday this morning, beginning at Arthur Ashe Boulevard heading east into downtown.
The CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Arthur Ashe and Broad streets had all the front windows busted out, while shoppers had to use the back door to get in the store.
The front doors of Bank of America across from the Children's Museum of Richmond were smashed, with graffiti on the facade, including one message that read, "Stop charging us 4 being poor."
The new Whole Foods, just west of Hermatige Road, was closed, with crews cleaning out broken glass and boarding up broken windows. The parking lot was blocked off with caution tape and a Whole Foods employee was telling shoppers they didn't know when it would reopen.
The DTLR shoes and sportswear store on Broad between Lombardy and Bowe was still smoldering after being set on fire early Sunday morning, as crews worked to clean up the rubble. The Game Stop and Starbucks next to it also had broken windows.
South of Broad Street, several hundred people have gathered at Brown’s Island for what organizers urged to be a peaceful protest.
Protesters, chanting, “No Justice, No Peace,” plan on marching to the 17th Street Farmers Market.
Organizer Quiara Holmes told her fellow demonstrators to keep things peaceful before they left.
“Violence is not the message we want today,” Holmes said. “If you act a fool, you’re not with us.”
10 a.m. update:
Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statement at 10 a.m. Sunday, saying he affirms “the deep concerns from the black community.”
“I acknowledge each of the voices crying out for justice and healing across the United States and in our Commonwealth,” he said in the statement.
“I hear you. I know your pain is real. We have all seen too many people harassed, abused, and killed by law enforcement officers, in too many places, for too long—just for being black. I also know that others are exploiting this pain and are now causing violence.”
Northam said he was in contact with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney throughout the night Saturday and confirmed he granted the mayor’s curfew request and put the Virginia National Guard on alert.
“They stand ready to assist in protecting our residents, businesses, especially small and black-owned businesses, and the capital city,” Northam’s statement said.
He added, “As governor of Virginia, I call on all Virginians to join together and build a renewed commitment to working for justice and fair treatment.”
9:30 a.m. update:
Richmond will have a curfew starting 8 p.m. Sunday, Mayor Levar Stoney announced.
The curfew runs until 6 a.m. Stoney also said he’s asked Gov. Ralph Northam, who granted the curfew order, for the help of the National Guard.
“It will be enforced,” Stoney said of the curfew. The curfew will be in effect nightly until further notice.
“The past two nights, we’ve seen what could have been peaceful protests turn violent and destructive,” Stoney said. “We’re taking these steps to promote lawful and safe demonstration and protect both people and property.”
Stoney condemned the violence that arose in the city overnight, saying it doesn’t honor George Floyd, the Minnesota man killed while in police custody.
“It’s time to say that enough is enough and this must stop,” he said.
Stoney also noted that four Richmond police officers were injured during Saturday night's protests.
Richmond woke up Sunday morning to find a city different than the day before.
Statues along Monument Avenue tagged with graffiti. Businesses in downtown broken into and looted. The United Daughters of the Confederacy building set on on fire.
The second night of protests in the city over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd and police abuse turned violent, leaving a man in Richmond with life-threatening injuries when he was shot while riding in a car that came into contact with protesters, police reported.
Richmond Police did not immediately respond Sunday when asked how many arrests were made and how many people were injured.
"I'm scared to death to live in this city," said Cabell West, 74, a lifelong Richmond native, who observed the damage to the United Daughters of the Confederacy headquarters along Arthur Ashe Boulevard after it was set on fire. The fire has been put out.
Mary Valentino, the organization's office manager, said Sunday morning that she was not yet authorized to comment.
The building and statues along Monument Avenue drew groups of onlookers Sunday morning. Running groups stopped their jogs, as did dog walkers and neighbors.
Karen Meadows, who lives a few blocks from the United Daughters of the Confederacy building, said the unrest and damage "breaks my heart."
"It's horrible what the police had done, but this is not the answer," she said.
Staff writers Jess Nocera, Executive Editor Paige Mudd and Managing Editor Mike Szvetitz contributed to this story.