The Richmond Police Department declared an unlawful assembly at the Robert E. Lee Monument at 2:39 a.m. and cleared the area at 2:46 a.m., according to an RPD Twitter post.
Unlike the morning prior, during which state and city police officers released waves of chemical irritants into a crowd at City Hall, the roughly 50 remaining protesters at the monument were dispersed without use of force, though some social media reports say it was threatened.
Crews from the Department of General Services then cleared the area around the monument – now referred by demonstrators as Marcus David-Peters Circle. Items left by demonstrators, such as a basketball hoop and a “Radical Library” tent containing books about racial justice, were thrown away, according to a report from the Commonwealth Times and other social media reports
State and city officials on Monday issued an ordinance banning gatherings on the monument grounds from sunset to sunrise. Demonstrators defied that order for the second consecutive night, remaining at the monument for hours after the sunset.
Those present at the monument remained undisturbed by law enforcement until early Wednesday morning, when more than 100 state and city police officers descended on the area to clear the monument, The Commonwealth Times reports.