RICHMOND, Va. -- Police Chief Alfred Durham said, speaking the day before a scheduled Donald Trump rally, that he had received letters of inquiry and concern from residents and businessmen. Durham addressed plans for security and public safety, in addition to street closures and the venue.
STREET CLOSURES AND PARKING
Ok, look, Friday is going to be something downtown. Too bad the "B" isn't already operating. Goodness knows we could use something other than a load of cars from the county all pointed downtown looking for parking.
But if you are driving, you are probably parking. So the chief's advice was " Get here as early as possible, and park as far away as you are comfortable.”
All parking decks will be open.
But some streets will be closed, and the RPD made a handy map.
- East Leigh Street will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic from Fourth to Eighth streets at 3 p.m. No parking will be allowed in this area of Leigh Street on Friday. Use Jackson, Marshall and Broad streets as alternates.
- North Seventh and Eighth streets will be closed from Marshall to Leigh streets at 6 p.m. Use Fifth, Ninth and Tenth streets as alternates.
- The left travel lane of North Fifth Street between Jackson and Marshall is reserved for media vehicles.
- All parking decks in the area will be open.
- Due to the expected high turnout – it is suggested to park in a lot or deck several blocks away and walk to the Coliseum.
- Be aware of other no parking zones near the Coliseum.
IT'S TRUMP'S EVENT, OK?!
As Durham pointed out, "the Trump campaign has rented the Coliseum, and they can ask anyone to leave." Think of it as Trump's party, and if he doesn't want you there -- BAH.
Doors open at the Seventh Street entrance at 5 p.m. and the event is at 8 p.m. Are you VIP? Are you media? Then you enter at 5th Street!
The U. S. Secret Service will scan all attendees with magnetometers at the door.
Prohibited items includes: Signs-with-sticks, banners, bags, backpacks, food, drinks, and anything that can be construed as a weapon.
P.S. You have a ticket, right? Because that is the only way you are getting in.
P.P.S. Fencing will be erected for safe entry and exit.
THE RALLY AND POLITICAL EXPRESSION
"We have seen the episodes of disorder at events across the nation," Durham said and added that police aren't having it. That's why there will be a large contingent of local, state and federal officers inside and outside and on the perimeter, mmmmkay?!
Then he shared a story about a Hopewell voter, who recently started participating in the political process. In short, that person begged for protection.
"I am much terrified of attending this event, but I am a proud American and want to attend this event."
Durham added that he's had at least 50 emails of people concerned for their safety.
"Police personnel will take swift action and make arrests if they witness any illegal acts," Durham said. “We will extend every courtesy possible, but if you break the law, you will be arrested.”
"I'm asking that all in attendance to put forth our best efforts to ensure this a peaceful event," he said. "It's a shared responsibility."
People not going in will be asked to step aside. Festival Park will be open for those who don't have tickets, but want to be on the scene.
Several protests are planned. We will have multiple news crews on scene reporting and will stream the speech live. You can download our CBS 6 news app for breaking news alerts and livestreaming, and follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook) for updates.
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