The mayor of Virginia blamed white supremacists after mayhem broke out again in Richmond over the weekend, as mobs composed of Black Lives Matter and Antifa-linked rioters attempted to storm police headquarters, leaving a “path of destruction” in their wake in part of a planned violent “protest” titled “Richmond Stands With Portland.”
“Richmond stands with Portland,” read flyers distributed via social media ahead of the riot. “F*ck the Feds, f*ck RPD, f*ck VSP, f*ck Trump,” it continued.
“No bad protesters. No good cops. Come prepared, wear a mask, bring water” and “Do what you want, f*ck sh*t up,” the organizers instructed prospective attendees.
After meeting at Monroe Park, the mob began moving toward police headquarters, just under a mile from the park. Storefront windows were shattered while a municipal dump truck and Chipotle Mexican Grill were set on fire, with police declaring the event an unlawful assembly around 11:00 p.m.
According to reports from officials at Virginia Commonwealth University, the rioters racked up more than $100,000 worth of damages as they passed through the school’s downtown Richmond campus alone.
Rioters leave a path of destruction through Richmond.
Posted by Laura French – WTVR CBS 6 on Sunday, July 26, 2020
According to law enforcement, rioters attacked officers with firecrackers, and by hurling bricks, chunks of pavement, batteries, and other objects into police formations.
“Protestors have tore down police tape & have pushed forward with w/lasers & firecrackers,” reported the Twitter account of the Virginia State Police, whose officers were on hand to assist in defending Richmond’s police headquarters.
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) July 26, 2020
After the dust settled on Monday, police say only six rioters were arrested by police. Four of those arrested were from Richmond, with the remaining two from the Virginia cities of Hampton and Colonial Heights respectively.
At a Sunday afternoon press conference, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Chief of Police Gerald Smith attempted to deflect blame for the riot to “white supremacists” who they claim infiltrated the left-wing mob in an attempt to incite violence.
“White supremacists were marching under the banner of Black Lives Matter,” claimed Smith. asserting that the previous 20 or more days of protesting and rioting did not include white supremacists.
“I would like to give a thanks to Black Lives Matter. It was not them,” Smith told members of the press.
“So, after 24 days, 24 consecutive days of people protesting, what changed last night,” asked Stoney. “Let me tell you what I think changed last night.”
“There were white supremacists marching under the banner of Black Lives Matter, attempting to undermine an otherwise overwhelmingly peaceful movement.”
Stoney recently ordered a series of Confederate statues be removed from the capitol, claiming that their presence now posed a threat to “public safety,” as mobs of rioters and vandals were likely to topple it.