RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Police Department sent out a statement on Tuesday asking citizens to demonstrate “safely and in a conscientious manner that respects the rights of all.”
“The Department works to facilitate the safe exercise of constitutional rights of free speech and assembly while protecting persons and property,” RPD said in an announcement. “As members of this community, we are all ultimately responsible for providing a safe environment for each other.”
This statement came just before a verdict was announced in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in the death of George Floyd.
Last summer, the death of George Floyd sparked protests and riots across the country, including Richmond.
Joseph Mackena with the Virginia Capitol Police said the department has prepared for “possibility of civil unrest since well before the trial started.”
“Capitol Square looks much like it did last summer in terms of fencing and whatnot, and we are prepared to close the square if needed, also as was the case last summer,” he said
Ahead of the jury’s verdict, workers began putting boards up on the windows of the Virginia State Capitol.
RPD asks anyone who sees any suspicious or dangerous activity to report it immediately by calling the non-emergency line at 804-646-5100 or 911 for emergencies.