Activist carried out of City Council meeting after verbal confrontation

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Richmond City Council had to take an unscheduled recess Monday night as passions erupted prior to discussion and a vote about the remodeling of a city park that is frequently used by homeless people and those who provide services.

Chris Dorsey, a former city sheriff candidate and activist who frequently wears his handgun to meetings, was carried out in handcuffs after a verbal confrontation with City Council liaison Steve Skinner over Dorsey’s presence in the press box.

Watch Dorsey’s video of the confrontation below. In it Dorsey alleges that Skinner is threatening him, and is "in his space."

Skinner is seen in the video alleging that Dorsey gestured to his gun as he told Skinner to step away from him. Dorsey was carried out and issued a no trespassing order.  It's a rarity for anyone to be barred from council meetings.

Mo Karnage, well-known activist with Richmond’s Anarchist Collective, called City Council President Charles Samuels a “dingo” when he didn’t allow her to discuss the fate of Monroe Park before it was scheduled to be discussed.

Her account of the night is here:

It was just one of the disruptions included that prompted City Councilwoman Michelle Mosby to tell the crowd she was very disappointed with the public outburst. Councilwoman Kathy Graziano agreed, telling CBS 6 Reporter Jerrita Patterson "We council are very respectful to the citizens. I would expect in return that citizens who are attending a public meeting would be respectful. If citizens are disrespectful or create a commotion then they need to leave the meeting and we need to continue our orderly discussions."

Monroe Park, which is largely  bordered by Virginia Commonwealth University properties, has been the focal point of protests and bitter arguments over how a proposed remodeling – the first in more than a generation – should proceed.

Dorsey is a regular speaker during council meetings, frequently critical and accusatory. He has publicly said he believes council members break the law and should be treated like criminals. See Mark Holmberg’s election-day profile of Dorsey here.

Despite the chaos, Richmond City Council voted to lease Monroe Park to nonprofit group Monroe Park Conservatory for the next 30 years.

The City of Richmond will continue to own the Park and will retain the right to terminate the lease at any time, according to the nonprofits posting.


  • John Richmond

    I see the Monroe Park Conservancy’s web page statement that city can cancel the lease at any time.

    Could you please show the statement in the actual lease or ordinance where this is stated?

  • mokarnage

    My understanding is that if either party wants to break the lease they have to give a year’s notice. Which is a terrible sort of lease to get into.

  • Kathryn Leighton

    If people like him weren’t popular in such a “hipster” city like Richmond, can you imagine what he would be doing for a living? He’s obviously uneducated and craves attention to an unhealthy level.
    But whatever gets you out of bed every morning I guess. It’s kind of funny how underachievers like him can have such a loud voice these days.

  • isso

    If you do not like hidden government of down and dirty deals,
    being forcibly bought and taken away from We The People you
    will be forcibly removed under their loving, caring, kindness and benevolence.
    If you don’t like your Taxes being used Exclusively of, by, and for the rich, entitled, elite Positively Richmond/LovingRVA sect, with NO Say, you will be labeled the insurgent by the insurgents.

    • reeltime

      Yes, sounds awesome, let us see down the road who shall reap the bene$$$its. When you slowly give away your City, one piece @ a time you will scratch your head one day and say. Where did it all go? Please people, follow the money as they say. LOOK at the consortium. Do they really care?

  • J.

    It’s obvious from the video that Skinner lied and used that as justification for Dorsey’s removal. How can Dorsey be barred from city council meetings based on a false allegation? What will happen to Skinner for making a false allegation.

  • Morning Dew

    “Mo Karnage, well-known activist with Richmond’s Anarchist Collective, called City Council President Charles Samuels a “dingo” when he didn’t allow her to discuss the fate of Monroe Park before it was scheduled to be discussed.”

    This is what bothers me about the protestors of change in Richmond. They think their words are the most important thing that will be said that night and they can’t wait their turn, like a respectuful person, to get their point across. They buck the rules, then complain when they have consequences for it.

    I’d like to hear what Mo Karnage had to say, but instead, her words that are printed here make her look like a toddler having a tantrum.

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