Four people will be charged with vandalism after allegedly spray painting words and phrases on Market Street during a protest on Sunday, according to the Charlottesville Police Department.
Police Chief RaShall Brackney read a statement on a city livestream Thursday that decried methods taken by some protesters and the alleged vandalism outside the police department building.
“However, we are not finished,” she said. “The Charlottesville Police Department is also in the process of identifying other individuals, and the incident remains under investigation.”
The department said that four people “have been charged,” but did not identify those individuals. Police said that warrants had not yet been served at the time of the statement, and that names would not be released until all warrants have been served.
If any individuals are charged and convicted of vandalism, they could be punished by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
On Sunday, more than 100 people marched down the Downtown Mall Sunday to call for defunding area police departments, and stopped on Market Street in front of the police department. After chanting and Black community members shared their experiences, people used colorful spray paint to write “Black Liberation Now,” “Defund and Abolish CPD, APD, UPD,” and other phrases onto the pavement in front of the police department.
In her 3 p.m. statement, which came shortly after the department emailed an embargoed notice to local media, Brackney said that while most of the event “remained peaceful,” several people engaged in “unacceptable and criminal behavior.”
“This included harassing and attempts to shame individuals who were trying to enjoy a Father’s Day meal on the Mall with their families,” she said, but did not elaborate on any of the incidents or say if members of the public had filed complaints.
“During this time, we ask every member in this community to engage in civil discourse, without causing unnecessary pain and allowing detractors to co-op the message, a manner by which reform can and will be achieved,” she said.
Brackney did not take questions from the public during her appearance. A city spokesman did not return a request for comment Thursday morning about the city’s cleanup efforts. A police spokesman declined to release further information.
Brackney said the messages painted on the pavement Sunday were “cruel, threatening and hate-filled language at the entrance of the courts and police station, where, unfortunately, every officer, civilian employees, maintenance and janitorial team members who came into work had to endure.”
Brackney said Charlottesville Public Works removed the paint by power washing, sealing and repainting the street on Monday, but that that was a “temporary fix” and that the street twill have to be repaved.
A document provided by the city shows that the eventual milling and paving of 2,370 square feet by a contractor is estimated to cost the city $15,191.70.
An additional $4,439.08 was spent in-house for the clean up, which included approximately $1,706.88 for the use of trucks, $17.34 for use of a thermoplastic trailer, $908.72 for materials, approximately $1,679 for 12 city employees to work 93 hours and $47.13 for supplies.