Meanwhile, In the Capital of the Confederacy (of Dunces)…

Assault rifle near Lee Monument uncovered by Richmond police Thursday.

by James A. Bacon

Coincidence or not? You decide.

First this: After weeks of a hands-off policy, Richmond police moved July 30 to enforce state laws and city ordinances in what had been a law enforcement-free zone around Lee Circle. An amorphous band of left-wing activists and radicals had seized the circle, where the graffiti-defaced statue of Robert E. Lee still stands, and ran it as a leaderless collective. They set up tents, took electrical power, engaged in commerce without permits, displayed videos on the monument base, and played loud music.

When RPD officers removed illegal items, said Chief Gerald M. Smith in a prepared statement, they were assaulted, suffering minor injuries. Pepper spray was deployed, a “conducted electrical device” (stun gun) deployed, and two individuals were arrested and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.

Then this: The following day, July 31, Chief Smith assigned police to a security detail for Mayor Levar Stoney, citing “serious, credible, and ongoing threats to Mayor Stoney.” No details of the threats were provided. Stoney spokesman Jim Nolan said that the mayor had traveled to hundreds of public and private events in the past without police protection. However, “recent events have made it clear that we are now in different times.”

The groups frequenting Lee Circle, renamed by activists as Marcus-David Peters circle in memorial to a mentally deranged man shot and killed by police last year, had become increasingly unruly.

Until recently, the city administration had dealt with the lawless zone around the Lee statue by forming a task to work on “issues” created by the occupation of the circle. The task force included representatives from public works, public utilities, health, the police, the fire department, and other city agencies. “In addition,” stated Smith, “other nonprofit agencies were recruited to provide additional resources. They have been meeting with those present in a holistic approach to provide services to those in need. Previously, individuals were given the opportunity to correct the illegal actions.”

Despite the city’s ministrations, lawlessness and disorder spread. Neighbors complained of people defecating in their front yards, spray-painting graffiti on their houses, riding up and down streets and alleyways late at night shooting guns and lighting firecrackers, and in several instances, of assaulting residents. Residents complained that police refused to respond to calls for service.

In mid-July, two individuals were assaulted and robbed following an argument near the Lee Monument around 10:20 p.m. Police said multiple suspects were involved, at least two of whom brandished firearms. Yesterday, police said they received reports of random gunfire a block from the Lee Monument; a caller said that a glass door of their home had been shattered. Searching the area, police found a rifle and four magazines, along with an image of an SUV with what appeared to be bullet holes in the rear.

“Gunfire and violent behavior is not peaceful, nonviolent protest,” said Smith in a news release. “It is criminal, unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our city. The City of Richmond will take all necessary steps to protect residents and visitors and preserve peace and public safety in our communities.”

Bacon’s bottom line: It appears that Mayor Stoney is pivoting back toward law and order. Perhaps the violent demonstration in front of the RPD headquarters last week shook him up. Perhaps the predominantly black Black Lives Matter movement has splintered from the predominantly white Antifa/anarchist movement, giving Stoney, who is African-American, some running room to crack down on white anarchists without alienating his African-American allies. It’s hard to know what Stoney’s motives are because he has not been forthcoming with an explanation. This is pure conjecture, but it appears likely that the threats against Stoney emanated from militants angered by his change of face.

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12 responses to “Meanwhile, In the Capital of the Confederacy (of Dunces)…

  1. something related and interesting:


    A judge on Friday ruled that the curfew hastily enacted by Fredericksburg officials in early June was unconstitutional and that the city had no authority to make violating it a crime.

    Judge Gene Woolard made the ruling in Fredericksburg General District Court, at least temporarily setting aside about 50 curfew violation cases that have been a rallying point for local protesters who have been marching and chanting along city streets for about two months.

    Prosecutors argued that the city’s charter and emergency management code gave the city the authority to enact a curfew. Reyes argued that only the state legislature or the governor could grant such authority. Governor Ralph Northam authorized curfews for Richmond, Hampton and Virginia Beach during that time frame, but not Fredericksburg.

  2. What is the Governor’s position on ending the rioting? If Richmond is allowed to become East Portland, which other Virginia cities will follow suit?

  3. We have some of this still going on in Fredericksburg. How about other places like NoVa or C-ville?

  4. Former mayor Dwight Jones had a $300k protective detail and his biggest threat was a data system that did not work.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    On April 2nd, 1865 retreating Confederate forces and leaders set fire to military store houses and ammunition stores creating a fire that badly damaged old downtown Richmond. Looting, pillaging, and utter lawlessness raged next to the inferno throughout the night. On the morning of April 3rd, US General Godfrey Weitzel accepted the surrender of the city by Mayor Joseph Mayo. Weitzel quickly put to work the nearly 20,000 United States Colored Troops in the XXV Army Corps to work. The fires were extinguished, guards were posted at every government building, guards were posted at the homes of every civilian requesting protection including 707 Franklin Street the residence of Mrs. Robert E. Lee. Checkpoints were established on all roads leading out of Richmond. Weitzel oversaw the protection of President Lincoln when he visited the city the next day and even assisted in the Lincoln negotiations with Confederate leaders left behind in Richmond to mend the fences. History records not one instance of abuse towards the people of by the soldiers of the XXV Corps or General Weitzel. Richmond could use such a leader today.

  6. Well, apparently, shooting a firearm in or across a street isn’t a big deal in Virginia. It’s only a Class 4 misdemeanor. Driving 81MPH in a 70MPH zone is a bigger offense (Class 1 misdemeanor). Hee-haw.

    § 18.2-286. Shooting in or across road or in street.
    If any person discharges a firearm, crossbow, slingbow, arrowgun, or bow and arrow in or across any road, or within the right-of-way thereof, or in a street of any city or town, he shall, for each offense, be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

  7. NoVa is quiet. The “action” is in Richmond. Perhaps you can enlarge on what is happening in Fredericksburg.

    FWIW the charter of a Virginia city is granted (or amended) by the General Assembly, thus the Fredericksburg charter could well “give the City the authority to enact a curfew” independently of the Governor’s actions. Don’t know the details in this instance, of course.

  8. Eric the Half a Troll

    I thought in CONservative-land assault rifles in the Capital were a good thing… something about defense from tyranny…🤷‍♂️

  9. re: ” Larry’s post is less offensive because he at least quotes someone else’s hearsay newpaper account of facts that he considers interesting. ”

    I guess we’re now to the point where what is in the newspaper is “hearsay” eh?

    by that standard – why is not?

  10. Crazy – geeze guy are ya’ll so insecure that a commenter like Nancy give you hives ? geeze…

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