RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As roughly 150 anti-Trump protesters took to the streets of Richmond Wednesday night, the state Republican headquarters and several monuments were vandalized, including the Jeff Davis Memorial, which was spray-painted with the phrase “your vote was a hate crime.”
Virginia State Police arrested 10 people and Richmond Police arrested two more. All were charged with unlawful assembly. Of the 12 arrested, 10 were VCU students.
Cam Wharthan was one of those protesters. He says he recorded his entire experience and uploaded it to YouTube, aiming to show that news reports didn’t match reality. (DISCLAIMER: Some images and language may be considered inappropriate to some viewers).
“I’m just really disheartened that happened and that the media chose that as the sound bite and the headline,” Wharthan told 8News. “90 percent of the people were VCU students or VCU graduates and I think that we represented our city very well,” said Wharthan.
Wharthan says he’s frustrated with the few that ended up in handcuffs.
“I can understand their frustration but, I don’t think that was the right method of expressing their anger,” Wharthan said.
Emily Bolton with the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPV) added, “Violence and vandalism are not a Republican value, it’s not a Democratic value, it’s certainly not a Virginia value and we condemn that to the strongest terms possible.”
Meanwhile, a volunteer with the DPV started a fundraiser to help repair the damage done to GOP headquarters. It’s a move the party supported.
Republicans responded to the gesture with this statement saying in part:
“The Clinton campaign, the democrat party and their supporters in the media spent the entire presidential campaign calling trump supporters such terms as racist, sexist, mentally ill and a “basket of deplorables.” the hateful rhetoric we have seen these past few months is the cause of this violence.”
A spokesperson went on to say the party has had more than enough money given to them and can fix their office on their own. They urged the DPV to donate the money raised to a local pregnancy crisis center.
“That is a bit obtuse of them to say,” Bolton said. “The Democratic Party of Virginia, we aren’t going to engage in that partisan fodder.”
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.