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Police on alert after Monument Avenue crowds disperse: 'Officers will remain vigilant'

Police on alert after Monument Avenue crowds disperse: 'Officers will remain vigilant'

These neo-Confederate race haters would rather ride into town waving Confederate flags and guns, breaking the laws of the city and state, than to stand down and respect the diverse people of Richmond. I urge Virginians who have no reason to be in the vicinity of these protests to steer clear of the parts of Monument Avenue where it will be held so that law enforcement can perform the task of keeping people safe.

There are multiple street closures and a large police presence across Richmond today as hundreds of people hit the streets for rallies against supporters of the Confederate monuments in the city. The group, New Confederate States of America, are not based in Virginia and said they were asked by Virginians to be at the rally. Richmond is reevaluating the monument after the violent white nationalist rally in nearby Charlottesville last month that began as a rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statute.

"I trust no one loses their lives tomorrow, on either side, I truly do". "What we would love for you to do is come up and speak to the heart of your feelings on what is going on here and why you are upset that it's coming to your hometown". These statues and what they represent are spurring the same sort of hatred and violence today.

As of 3:30 p.m. police said some roads remained closed around Stuart Circle.

"You're causing trouble in our city", Lawrence yelled at the group.

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Any individual who appeared to the rally wearing covers or conveying different weapons would be captured, police said.

Beyond holding an unlawful public rally, they potentially would be violating several state laws against carrying loaded firearms in public areas and brandishing weapons in a manner reasonably meant to intimidate others.

Heated arguments between counter protesters and rally organizers characterized the day's events.

"My recommendation, and don't take this the wrong way, don't show up", Durham replied. "That's the struggle here".

Chesterfield Police, Henrico Police, Virginia State Police, and Capitol Police would be close by with an end goal to keep the peace.