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Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Ready To Investigate Crimes Committed During Protests

A screenshot from a video taken as Richmond Police fired tear gas on peacefully assembled protesters at the Robert E. Lee monument.
A screenshot from a video taken as Richmond Police fired tear gas on peacefully assembled protesters at the Robert E. Lee monument. (VPM)

Richmond’s Commonwealth Attorney Colette McEachin says she will investigate any criminal allegations in connection with the week of protests against police brutality. 

McEachin said in a statement that her office will also investigate any allegations of police misconduct. This comes after Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and City Councilman Michael Jones both asked her office to look into an incident that happened Monday at the Lee Monument. Richmond Police have admitted to firing tear gas at peaceful protesters before the 8 p.m. curfew began, and upon review, it was called an “ unwarranted action.” 

McEachin said a request from city officials will not be enough, however. She needs anyone who feels they have been the victim of a crime to file a formal complaint with her office. 

“I can’t make a good legal decision based on social media accusations, allegations and pictures,” she said in an interview with VPM. “I need someone to say, ‘This happened to me, and I am prepared to testify about it in a court of law.”

As of Wednesday, McEachin said no one had filed a complaint with her office about Monday’s incident. A lawsuit was filed by civil rights attorney Tom Roberts on behalf of Johnathan Arthur, who was at the demonstration that night. Arthur is asking for $50,000 in damages and for the identities of the officers to be released.

McEachin said her office will bring criminal charges against anyone, protester or police, if there is enough evidence to prosecute.

The Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office can be reached at (804) 646-3500.

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