Police are investigating a fight that occurred among rival gang members at Richmond’s City Hall on Friday. A fistfight broke out among seven men from different parts of Richmond in a third-floor suite that houses the city’s Office of Neighborhood Safety around 12:30 p.m. Friday, department director Devone Boggan said. He said all of the men involved in the melee are enrolled in the office’s “Operation Peacemaker” fellowship and happened to show up at the office at Richmond’s Civic Center at the same time unexpectedly.
The fight stemmed from an “exchange of looks” and heated words after the men spotted each other, Boggan said. Police have so far been unable to locate any of the men involved, and have few details about what happened, Lt. Bisa French said today. The Police Department received several 911 calls from City Hall reporting the fight, and found blood splattered across the office where the fight happened, which is located above council chambers. Boggan said one of the gang members in the fight suffered a broken nose, which was the source of much of the blood found in his office. The ONS director said he sees the unarmed brawl as a sign of progress, since the young men involved all have a history of gun violence.
“They decided to pick their fists up instead of a gun,” Boggan said. “Everyone got up and walked away — not one mother has to bury their child this week.” He said he does not believe Friday’s altercation will lead to more serious violence, and that he and other ONS staff plan to meet with all seven of the men involved in an effort to mediate the conflict. Boggan said the men who fought one other at City Hall on Friday are all between the ages of 20 and 25, and are receiving ongoing mental health and anger management treatment.
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