RICHMOND, Va. — A Richmond Police Department (RPD) officer who was struck in the head by a flying whoopie cushion during a recent clash with protesters at the Robert E. Lee Monument is expected to make a full recovery, the department said Tuesday.
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The incident took place shortly after they declared that a gathering of peaceful protesters at the Lee Monument on Friday was an unlawful assembly.
“During our siege of the Lee monument, at approximately 1 a.m., Officer Chad Barnes was struck with a whoopie cushion that had been violently hurled by what had to be a radicalized, violent member of Antifa,” RPD Captain Terry Murdock stated, explaining that the officer was struck on his left ear with extreme force by the rubber toy, which is often used for childish pranks.
“The whoopie cushion was traveling at a near-lethal rate of speed that smashed right through his riot helmet. The officer suffered potentially life-threatening injuries, including minor skull fractures resulting from the impact of the projectile, and was immediately air-lifted to MCV and has had a number of surgeries to help control blood loss and prevent cerebral damage. We’re happy to say that he has since come out of the ICU and is expected to be back on the force in no time.”
“This was an act of domestic terrorism and we will not stand for it,” Murdock added. “It’s clearly obvious, based on the bodycam footage that started recording five seconds after he hit the ground, that the protesters escalated the situation.”
Murdock encouraged any witnesses or anyone who has any information regarding the incident to come forward, adding an incentive for any would-be snitches: “If you’re a protester turning on one of your own, we promise to gas you the least the next time we come out.”