Police State/Civil Liberties

RPD chief says officers showed ‘restraint’ in clash with protesters; witness disputes the account

A mild assault on an enemy military base in my area.

The day after pepper spray was deployed on a large crowd of protesters outside Richmond police headquarters and a woman was arrested, Police Chief William Smith said his officers had shown “great restraint” as protesters threw rocks and other objects at them.

But the police department’s account of what happened as hundreds massed outside headquarters Sunday night and Monday morning was sharply contradicted by one eyewitness.

The witness, Jimmie Lee Jarvis, said that although the large crowd was angry and hurling obscenities at the police, he did not see anyone throw anything at officers until after they released pepper spray into the crowd.

“It turned violent,” Jarvis said. “But the first act of violence was from the police.”


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