By MEL LEONOR
Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday quietly signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Richmond, citing “civil unrest” following weeks of protests that have resulted in violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
The order gives the administration the ability to deploy additional state resources to “implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities” to return the city to “pre-event conditions as much as possible.”
That includes emergency funding for government response to the protests and activation of the Virginia National Guard, according to the order.
“Often, peaceful demonstrations evolve into conflicts with law enforcement during late night and early morning hours,” the order reads. “These events have required significant intervention to ensure the safety of protesters and the public, protect property and provide additional resources to support our local and state partners.”
The Northam administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ACLU of Virginia on Tuesday chided Northam’s order in a statement on Twitter.
“[Northam’s] actions show no understanding of the anti-Black racism that infects our civil and social structures, accepts the police version of the facts and demonstrates an unwillingness to recognize that treating people as enemy combatants invites violence rather than quells it,” the civil rights group said.
The order is in effect until July 30.
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