Northam authorizes curfew in Richmond, places National Guard on alert

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Gov. Ralph Northam has authorized a curfew in Richmond after a night of looting arising out of what began as peaceful protests of the murder of an African-American man by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Northam has also placed the Virginia National Guard on alert, according to a statement issued by the governor’s office Sunday morning.

The moves were made in consultation with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, according to the statement.

Several buildings, including the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and VCU’s Rhodes Hall, were set on fire overnight, in scenes resembling others seen in cities across the United States beginning with protests of the murder of George Floyd on Monday.

Derek Chauvin, a now ex-police officer, faces a third-degree murder charge in Floyd’s, after video shot by bystanders showed Chauvin kneeling on Foster’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as Foster repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” before losing consciousness.

In Richmond, police are investigating the shooting of a man on Grace Street that appears to be related to the riots.

Police are also reporting that two Capitol Police officers were injured.

“I acknowledge each of the voices crying out for justice and healing across the United States and in our Commonwealth. I affirm the deep concerns from the black community. I hear you. I know your pain is real. We have all seen too many people harassed, abused, and killed by law enforcement officers, in too many places, for too long—just for being black. I also know that others are exploiting this pain and are now causing violence,” Northam said.

“I spoke with Mayor Levar Stoney throughout the night; pursuant to the mayor’s requests, I have authorized a curfew in Richmond and placed the Virginia National Guard on alert. They stand ready to assist in protecting our residents, businesses, especially small and black-owned businesses, and the capital city. As governor of Virginia, I call on all Virginians to join together and build a renewed commitment to working for justice and fair treatment,” Northam said.

Story by Chris Graham


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