Charlottesville police are getting tough with peaceful protesters armed with cans of spray paint. Four people have been charged with a criminal offense and could face up to a year in jail for graffiti in front of the city’s police station.
The trouble began when about a hundred people marched along the downtown mall on Father’s Day – disturbing some families who were dining al fresco – urging them to join the rally against police brutality. Then, some engaged in criminal activity according to police chief RaShall Brackney.
“The group then blocked off Market Street in front of the Charlottesville Police Department for more than an hour," she recalled. "They vandalized the streets and the sidewalks with cruel, hateful and threatening language at the entrance of the courts and the police station where, unfortunately, every officer, civilian employee, maintenance and janitorial team member who came into the building had to endure it.”
Graffiti called for de-funding city, county and university police, supporting Black liberation now, and -- using more profane language – assaulting law enforcement officers. Brackney said those messages had to go.
“On Monday morning Charlottesville public works teams were mobilized to quickly remove the vandalism by power washing, sealing and repainting the streets. Unfortunately, this is a temporary fix, as public works will also have to repave that section of Market Street, costing taxpayers upwards of $20,000.”
She told reporters that four people had been charged and more could face arrest as an investigation continues.