Richland Protest Turns ‘Unruly’ With Blocked Traffic, Hitting Cars, 1 Person Hurt
A protest march in Richland turned unruly at times and appeared to be occasionally out of control Saturday midday.
It is not conclusively known if this event was the same one advertised on Facebook earlier this week as the anti-4th march with BLM. That event page called July 4 a ""whitewashed narrative" of American history, and claimed Juneteenth is the real day of independence for Americans.
Video from KEPR TV live showed various crowds of people running and darting across George Washington Way, blocking cars at different times, and various chants; some of which included the words "f- the police" being yelled on a bullhorn. According to reports the crowd numbered several hundred. Scattered groups and lines of protesters blocked traffic up and down GW Way.
We have reports of several drivers who said protesters put their hands on their car as they were driving through the general protest area. It appeared that after starting on GW Way some persons fanned out and were blocking the area of GW Way and Knight Street. There were also reports of some protesters who swiped signs at cars trying to enter the Roaster's coffee location further south on GW Way.
Some of the later videos showed activity near the Economy Inn on GW Way as well. Brief glimpses in the video also show some protesters swinging signs at a few cars further north near the origin of the march. Sources who happened to be near the area or who passed through reported a lot of yelling and profanity directed at motorists; especially if they honked or yelled for the people to get out of their way.
A number of sources voiced frustration about the event, asking why there was not more law enforcement presence; some asked why it was not dispersed.
Others on social media posted that they had driven through the protest area and noticed the majority of the participants appeared to be noticeably young and mostly white.
This protest appeared to be very different that the very peaceful protest event on Columbia Center Boulevard a number of weeks ago.
KEPR reports one person was hurt when their foot was run over by a vehicle.