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City of Manassas Declares Unlawful Assembly Following Liberia Ave Protest, Sunday

Manassas City Police Chief Doug Keen talks with organizers of a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally along Liberia Avenue in Manassas, May 31. (Screen capture from video created by Franie Robyn.)

By City of Manassas Communications Department 

On May 31, protestors gathered in the area of Walmart on Liberia Avenue. Manassas City Police Chief, Doug Keen, met with organizers and addressed the crowd along with leaders from the Prince William County Police Department. The original organizers of the protest remained peaceful throughout the evening.

Protestors unaffiliated with the original organizers began arriving and the crowd grew into the later hours of the evening. Protestors began demonstrating in the roadway and were allowed to do so while they remained peaceful. Officers in the area then reported objects being thrown at them and also observed property damage. At approximately 11:31 p.m., the Manassas City Police Department declared an unlawful assembly. Officers announced the declaration to the protestors and the crowd was dispersed. 

There were no reports of officers being injured during the protest. No tear gas or less lethal weapons were deployed and no arrests were made in connection with the unlawful assembly. Windows to Glory Days Grill (9516 Signal Hill Road) were broken and two Manassas City Police cruisers were vandalized. The following law enforcement agencies assisted: Prince William County Police Department, Virginia State Police, Prince William County Sheriff’s Office, and the George Mason University Police Department. 

Prince William County: 

The Liberia Avenue Walmart was also affected by the incident although at this point the extend to which has not be clarified.

Bristow Beat reached out to Public Information Officer Renee Carr with the Prince William County Police. She verified that the Walmart did sustain damage, and that Prince William Police made one arrest that night.

She said the unlawful assembly was declared by the City of Manassas, Prince William County Police did not declare one.

Officer Carr said details have not yet been made available. Bristow Beat will follow up.

Lt. Col. Jarad Phelps was present and participated in the community discussion at the peaceful protest that evening organized by Chapel Springs Church.

Bristow Beat has a video of the peaceful aspect of the assembly on its Facebook page. 

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