RICHMOND, Va. — Noting that the land was the perfect size and the added fence served as a good barrier for practicing, the Richmond Police Department will be converting the Lee Monument Circle (unofficially known as Marcus-David Peters Circle) into a training ground for the riot squad once the massive pedestal is removed from the land, sources confirmed Monday.
“We’ve been looking for a new space to run riot drills involving tear gas for a while now, so the timing is generally perfect,” RPD Captain Jim Bowman said at a conference, adding that the exercises on the land that formerly hosted the Robert E. Lee monument would respect a neighborhood curfew.
“Thankfully our riot unit is already pretty familiar with the specific terrain. Additionally, we’re hopeful that this can help strengthen our bond with the local community while simultaneously preparing our officers for the next civil rights protest down the road.”
Bowman added that the department had also considered Monroe Park as a backup location, citing the relevant experience the department had with vacating people from the park’s public space.