Favorite

Downtown Protests Greet U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

click to enlarge Protesters outside the SunTrust Center, where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was speaking.

Scott Elmquist

Protesters outside the SunTrust Center, where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was speaking.

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the SunTrust Center at Ninth and Main streets Wednesday morning for a visit from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was speaking to an invitation-only crowd of law enforcement and media representatives.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, didn't walk past the protesters, and it’s unclear when and how he entered the building for the 10 a.m. event. The crowd had gathered by about 9:30.

The Republican is under pressure from some Democrats and progressives to resign, because of his contacts with Russian diplomats during the presidential election. In his confirmation hearings, he said that he had none, but it later emerged that he met with the Russian ambassador twice.

Sessions recused himself from investigations into Russian interference with the election, but the protesters and others called for his resignation.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is among them. Northam, who is running for governor, joined the protest outside briefly. Democratic legislators also attended, including General Assembly members Rosalyn Dance, Delores McQuinn and Jeff Bourne, also calling for Sessions’ resignation.

Richmond Chief of Police Alfred Durham attended the Sessions meeting inside. Sheriff C.T. Woody’s office said he was invited as a regional public safety partner, but his schedule did not permit him to attend.

Mayor Levar Stoney’s office said that he was not invited and did not meet with Sessions.

The office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring confirmed that Herring also wasn't invited to the event and noted that Herring has “worked extremely well with [Department of Justice] and the U.S. Attorneys in Virginia on gun crimes, heroin traffickers, and more.”

Claire Guthrie Gastañaga of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union addressed the crowd outside, asking members to engage with the local attendees of the meeting.

“People should demand that what he’s saying in there be public as well,” she said. “Because we have a right to know what he’s telling law enforcement in Virginia about how they’re supposed to do their jobs.”

According to Gastañaga, members of the Virginia State Police also were in attendance.

She spoke against Sessions’ policies of law enforcement toward immigrants and his track record on police. “I’m just here to stand in solidarity with people concerned about the way the Justice Department is being operated under Sessions,” she said.

Favorite

Latest in News and Features

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • In the Know

    In the Know

    Thad Williamson, a former policy advisor for the mayor, eyes the soon-to-be vacant 5th District City Council seat.
    • May 14, 2019
  • Ready and Willing

    Ready and Willing

    As the fashion industry changes, VCU is preparing its students with real-world experience. Meet some of the rising young stars behind-the-scenes at this year’s Fashion Runway 2019: Shimmer.
    • May 14, 2019
  • Cultural Knowledge

    Cultural Knowledge

    Need Supply joins forces with a luxury retailer from Seattle to compete with larger e-commerce retailers.
    • May 14, 2019
  • A Q&A with RVA Fashion Week Executive Producer Jimmy Budd

    A Q&A with RVA Fashion Week Executive Producer Jimmy Budd

    • May 14, 2019
  • More »

Copyright © 2019 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation