Richmond, VA – Rioters burned down a building with a child inside on Sunday and then blocked firefighters from responding to save the child.
Richmond Police Chief William Smith broke down into tears as he spoke of the situation during a press conference in the wake of the horrific incident.
The altercation between the riotous hoard and first responders occurred at a multi-family home in the 300-block of West Broad Street, after rioters intentionally set the building ablaze.
“This is not the only occupied building that has been set fire to in the last two days,” Chief Smith noted.
As firefighters raced to the scene, the rioters intercepted their vehicle several blocks away and parked cars in its path in order to block access to the building.
“Inside that home was a child,” Chief Smith said. “They prohibited us from getting on the scene. We had to force our way to make a clear path for the fire department.”
Refusing to allow the child to burn to death, the determined Richmond police officers managed to force their way inside the burning building so the firefighters could do their jobs.
“Officers were able to help those people out of the house,” Chief Smith told reporters, choking back tears. “We were able to get the fire department there safely.”
The first responders were able to save the child.
The chief told reporters that the peaceful protests have been “hijacked” by rioters, many of whom he alleged traveled hundreds of miles to partake in the destruction in Richmond.
“That is unacceptable to me. It’s unacceptable to the Richmond Police Department and unacceptable to the City of Richmond,” Chief Smith said emphatically. “I want our citizens to know that we’re doing our very best to provide life safety to all of our citizens throughout these challenging times.”
Chief Smith said that many people have been injured “due to protester-on-protester violence” in the city during the past several days, during which businesses and vehicles have been vandalized, looted and torched.
The rioting comes after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with George Floyd’s death.
Officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.
Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.
The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.
Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.
The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.
Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.
Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.
After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.
Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.
According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
The charging documents state, “The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”