Teacher of the Year to lead Richmond schools
Thanksgiving Travel Weather

Police on alert after Monument Avenue crowds disperse: ‘Officers will remain vigilant’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police said they are continuing to monitor activity in Richmond after a large demonstration following a pro-Confederate group's rally at the statue to Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue Saturday morning.

Traffic in parts of Richmond came to a standstill Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people took to the street in protest of the monuments to Richmond’s Confederate past.

This demonstration came hours after another group marched in the “Richmond Stands United for Racial Justice” from the Maggie Walker monument in Jackson Ward to the statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee where a “Heritage not Hate” rally, organized by a group called CSA II: The New Confederate States of America, began around 10 a.m.

Police said seven people were arrested on Saturday in connection to the demonstrations. One woman was arrested around 11:30 a.m. and another was detained earlier Saturday morning. Then WTVR CBS 6 cameras spotted two people wearing masks being arrested at Stuart Circle around 4 p.m.

As of 3:30 p.m. police said some roads remained closed around Stuart Circle. But by 5:15 p.m., police said barriers along Monument Avenue were being removed.

"As assemblies have dispersed into small groups throughout the city, Richmond Police and its regional law enforcement partners continue to monitor these activities and respond appropriately," police officials said in a 5 p.m. news release.

Officials said residents could expect to see an "increased law enforcement presence" in the city throughout the night.

"Officers will remain vigilant in tracking any activity that carries over into this evening," officials said. "Citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to authorities by alerting an officer or calling 911."