Police: 2 assaulted officers near Confederate statue

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two people were arrested for assaulting officers who were working with a city task force to break up an encampment near a Confederate monument in Richmond, police said.

The arrests happened Thursday morning as authorities confiscated tents, chairs, and other items near the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue, news outlets reported. Richmond Police said officers removing the items were assaulted by Justin Killough and Kadia Taylor.

“Pepper spray was deployed and a conducted electrical device was used by officers in response to the assaults,” the news release said. The officers suffered minor injuries and another individual was also treated for a medical condition, police said.

The statue has been a flashpoint for protests against racism and police brutality in the city, with clashes between police and demonstrators happening there on a regular basis.

Officials went to the encampments a day after sending a notice to occupants that they were in violation of a city ordinance that bars people from camping on public groups, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Both Killough and Taylor have each been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer. The Richmond Community Bail Fund told the newspaper they have been denied bond. It was not immediately clear if Killough and Taylor had lawyers who could comment on their behalf.