Virginia Police Use Chemical Agents on Protesters After City Dump Truck Set on Fire

Police in Richmond, Virginia, used chemical agents to disperse protesters after a city dump truck was set on fire outside the department's headquarters on Saturday night.

Protesters clashed with police in the state's capital during a demonstration in support of protesters in Portland, Oregon.

An "unlawful assembly" was declared after protesters set a the city dump truck ablaze, the Richmond Police Department said on Twitter at around 11 p.m.

"Protesters set a city dump truck ablaze outside RPD Headquarters. Unlawful Assembly has been declared. RPD officers must secure the area before firefighters can respond," the department tweeted.

Virginia State Police said protesters tore down police tape and pushed forward towards the department's headquarters with lasers and firecrackers.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that police used chemical agents and flash bangs to disperse the crowd of more than 200 people.

Fire crews put out the blaze after officers with the Richmond Police Department and Virginia State Police secured the scene, according to state police.

The Richmond Fires Department responded to a Chipotle restaurant on W. Grace Street that was on fire in the early hours of Sunday.

The restaurant's windows were shattered, along with the windows of other storefronts and buildings on the street.

Richmond police also tweeted a video that showed an officer extinguishing a mattress that was on fire in the middle of a street.

Police later tweeted a photo of rocks, batteries and other items the department said had been thrown at its officers during the protest, which they said "prompted an Unlawful Assembly being declared."

CBS6 reporter Rob Desir shared video footage on Twitter showing protesters carrying umbrellas outside the police department and signs saying "Black Lives Matter."

"Protesters are ignoring commands to disperse! RPD has announced that failure to do so will result in the release of chemical agents," Desir wrote.

"Someone smashed the windows on dump truck and set it on fire," he added alongside a clip of the burning truck.

In another tweet, Desir reported that police released chemical agents to clear the area and one protester had been taken into custody.

Saturday protest—called "Richmond Stands with Portland"—had started at a park before demonstrators marched to police headquarters.

Protesters were told to meet at Monroe Park at 9.30 p.m. in a profanity-laced flyer circulating on social media. "F**k the Feds. F**k RPD. F**k VSP. F**k Trump," it said.

Federal agents in Portland have repeatedly deployed tear gas and other munitions during clashes with protesters outside a federal courthouse in the city in recent days.

The Trump administration sent federal authorities to Oregon's largest city in a bid to quell protests that have taken place nightly for more than seven weeks since the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Protest
A topless protestor gestures in front of federal police personnel in Portland, Oregon early July 26, 2020. Ankur Dholakia/AFP via Getty Images
Virginia Police Use Chemical Agents on Protesters After City Dump Truck Set on Fire | U.S.