Richmond, Virginia – While members of the Richmond City Council are in the midst of talking about defunding the police department, one of their very own council members got a swift taste of the bad side of the mob they’re considering caving to.
And, ironically, the council member is upset that police didn’t intervene to the level of her desire.
Richmond councilwoman Kim Gray scolds RPD over lack of response amid protests outside her home yet she wants to defund the police??? https://t.co/CQaE969eS6
— Tim (@timbullins_) July 18, 2020
Richmond City Councilwoman Kim Gray managed to attract some uninvited guests outside of her home on the evening of July 15th, and apparently no arrests have been made with regard to the large number of protesters that gathered outside of her home.
In a confessional-styled video, the Gray stated the following:
“Not one person charged, no citations, nothing. I mean what has it come to?”
The reason that Gray is so upset isn’t just that a crowd had gathered outside of the home – it was the criminal threats allegedly said from those within the crowd that had her scared. According to Gray, people began suggesting to burn down her home:
“Recognizing and understanding that I’m a single Black person, a single mom with Black children in my home… showing up in a violent way at my home, is not a way to protest violence against Black people. You’re doing the exact thing that you say you need to fight against.”
Dozens of protesters targeted the home of Richmond councilwoman and mayoral candidate Kim Gray Wednesday night. Gray told 8News her children were sleeping inside when the protesters, some with assault rifles, showed up outside of her Jackson Ward home. https://t.co/iaMSbMMFfJ
— henry jones (@henryjo06676203) July 18, 2020
The councilmember said she called police that evening, and not a single unit arrived on the scene:
“When we as citizens call for help… we need to see a presence and there needs to be consequences.”
Richmond Police said that they were aware of Gray’s call, and admitted to monitoring the situation nearby to see if there were any actions that posed a danger to overall public safety. However, Gray says that waiting for something to go awry isn’t enough:
“That’s an unsettling response to say we are going to allow laws to be broken and your family to be put in potential jeopardy because we don’t want to have another negative interaction with the crowd.”
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Yet, how can anyone be surprised at how Richmond Police reacted to a call over a crowd of protesters gathering? Over the past several weeks, seemingly any type of enforcement against illegal acts during protests have gotten the likes of the RPD admonished at every corner.
Back in June, when rioters blocked a police SUV from leaving an area – and the SUV simply tried to go around the crowd, they continued to surround the vehicle some got tipped over by the SUV. Richmond’s own Mayor Stoney called for the officer who tried to get out of the rioters’ way to be placed on leave.
Officer backs up
Officer jumps curb to avoid crowd
Natural selection compels crowd to reposition in front of the SUV
People get tipped over and claim police brutality
*shocked Pikachu face*#DoNotBlockCars #TrumpNowMoreThanEver2020 https://t.co/O6fLwlDIRo
— Greg Hoyt (@GregHoytLET) June 15, 2020
The ACLU actually tried to place a restraining order last month against police in Virginia to ban them from using tear gas and pepper spray as a means to clear unlawful assemblies.
The ACLU of Virginia was in court Monday, asking the judge to grant a Temporary Restraining Order to “stop the police from violating protesters’ rights.” https://t.co/K4UlMTP3Lu
— NBC12 WWBT Richmond (@NBC12) June 30, 2020
The RPD’s own Chief of Police “resigned” in mid-June because of trying to get protests under control and enacting arrests.
Richmond police chief resigns after viral footage of police SUV driving into crowd | TheHill https://t.co/GAUHADBGbE
— wolf of the calla (@PlutonianNight) June 28, 2020
In a sense, police in Richmond are probably worried of being accused of “escalating” matters if trying to arrest protesters engaging in illegal behavior akin to blocking the flow of traffic or alleged threats of rioting at this point.
Steve Neal, who serves as a crime expert for the local CBS 6, explained that this kind of conundrum isn’t just happening in Richmond – it’s a nationwide impasse:
“It’s what’s going on everywhere in the country right now.”
Neal noted that whenever police are inserting themselves into protests, it becomes the catch-22 of one person saying they’re a victim of the mob and then protesters claiming a violation of their rights:
“One person has just as much right to be protected as another. So, law enforcement has to make some decisions and it seems in some cases, politics are being used as the deciding point rather than what might be best for community safety or the individual’s safety.”
It’s as if police are in a situation of damned if they do, damned if they don’t.
Because if someone has a protest outside their home that becomes unruly and police don’t start enacting arrests – then they’re bad for not doing it. Yet, when police start arresting people present within these protests, then you have clamoring about police seemingly arresting people for “no reason”.
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