Richmond Police Chief Will Smith came forward at a press conference and exposed the lie that these protesters are peaceful.
He told a heartbreaking story of how the rioters blocked a fire truck from getting to a burning home early in the morning that had a child inside.
“Protesters intentionally set a fire to an occupied building on Broad Street. This is not the only occupied building that has been set fire to over the last two days. But they prohibited us from getting on scene,” Smith said.
“We had to force our way to make a clear path for the fire department. Protestors intercepted that fire apparatus several blocks away with vehicles and blocked that fire department’s access to the structure fire. Inside that home was a child.”
“Officers were able to help those people out of the house. We were able to get the fire department there safely,” he said getting emotional.
”When you take a legitimate issue and hijack it for unknown reasons, that is unacceptable to me. It’s unacceptable to the Richmond Police Department and unacceptable to the City of Richmond.”
“We have people from across the country who have traveled many states to be here. We know that this is an organized effort,” Chief Smith said.
“We’re committed to try and identify those that are behind it. And we’re doing our very level best to arrest those that are perpetrating the violence on our community, our city, and against our citizens.”
“The man shot last night was shot by a protestor,” he said. “We’ve had a number of people that have been injured by thrown bottles, rocks, bricks, everything that you can imagine, thrown by other protesters.”
“As the mayor said, our protest has started out peacefully every single night with respectful people voicing their legitimate concerns. We’ve been able to facilitate them in their First Amendment rights, but it hasn’t taken too long each night before actors have taken over the protest and have changed the tone.”
The mayor added.
“Peaceful protests in solidarity against the injustices of black men hijacked by bad actors. As soon as you loot a store or set a public bus on fire, you’re not demonstrating. You’ve made it about you,” Mayor Stoney said. “When you block law enforcement from allowing fire services to get to a home that has caught on fire. You are not inspiring change. When you knock out windows of businesses that had nothing to do with this, you are not inspiring change. That’s an insult to the cause.