Richmond police to host meeting ahead of demonstration

The Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia. Credit: WRIC 8News.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond police will host a community meeting to answer questions about a demonstration planned for this weekend by a group that favors keeping Confederate statues in Richmond.

A Tennessee-based Confederate heritage group is planning a rally Saturday near the General Robert E. Lee monument.

Police Chief Alfred Durham said he plans to hold the meeting Thursday evening. Durham and Mayor Levar Stoney also planned a news conference for Thursday afternoon.

An organizer of the event planned for Saturday told The Associated Press Wednesday that it is aimed at protecting the Lee monument and standing up for Confederate heritage. She said her group disavows white nationalists.

Authorities have said they don’t expect a crowd as large as the one at a violent white nationalist rally last month in Charlottesville.