Augusta County protesters clash in Staunton
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Tensions among protesters and other citizens intensified Monday outside of the Augusta County Courthouse.
Antwhon Suiter has led protests in Augusta County for more than two months now. Page and Warren Cash have stood alongside in opposition of the protesters to show their support for local law enforcement.
Suiter said Monday’s altercation was a result of built-up tension.
“It’s been escalating for a period of time now,” Suiter said.
Page Cash said she supports the use of body cameras, but that she doesn’t agree with how protesters have gone about it.
“My husband and I got tired of hearing from local law enforcement officers saying that they were being harassed at work,” Page Cash said.
Page said they decided to start bringing a camera to protests to upload the footage to YouTube. She said she wants people to see what goes on at the protests if they aren’t there firsthand.
“There’s been nothing peaceful about it,” Page Cash said.
Monday’s dispute escaladed, and Page Cash said she and her husband were physically assaulted by protesters.
No arrests were made, but a police report was filed.
In the meantime, Suiter said Monday’s events reminded them why they are there.
“I would like for the protesters and people who attend these protests to stick to the message. We’re here for body cams,” Suiter said.
He said activists from around Virginia have joined them in their protests.
“Certain videos have became [sic] viral in the past two months that sparked activism from around the state of Virginia,” Suiter said.
A video from Saturday, July 31, was one that garnered internet attention. It featured a man allegedly attacking protesters.
“He was like ‘nothing really matters.’ We were chanting ‘power to the people, everybody is equal.’ He didn’t like that chant alone,” he said.
Staunton Police reported Robbie Lee Kirby was arrested and charged for assault and battery, as well as a hate crime.
The group said they’re refocused on their goal.
“Some of us are kind of getting anxious. It’s not something we feel like should take weeks,” Suiter said.
The last body and dash cam update was during the most recent Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting, when Supervisor Scott Seaton suggested they create a committee to discuss body cameras. Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith has to agree to this and WHSV has not heard back on his decision yet..
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