Richmond residents and police get ready for monument protests

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond officials are preparing for possible protests on Monument Avenue Saturday.

Many residents and even city officials are uncertain if and how this rally may turn out this weekend. Richmond’s mayor and police chief say the city is well-prepared to handle a negative situation should one arise.

“If people are thinking of showing up this weekend, my advice is this: obey the laws and let us treat one another with respect,” Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham said.

Richmond police are teaming up with police from within the region and State Troopers to prevent what happened in Charlotteville from reoccurring.

“We have reached out to Charlottesville, we have reached out to Boston, we have reached out to Berkeley, to get their reaction, best practices, what went wrong, went right, and that’s what you’ll see us executing in our plan,” Durham said.

Police say people can exercise their free speech within certain assembly points around Lee Monument.

They are banning objects that could be used to cause harm.

“We are taking the anticipated events seriously and we also will not tolerate violence,” Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Police said they are working to get in contact with both sides who plan on attending the rally.

Chief Durham says it’s not about taking sides but keeping those who rally and residents safe.

Police are limiting where people can protest around Lee Monument. Anyone who rallies within the grass space of the monument will be arrested by police.

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