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Richmond police assign security detail to city’s mayor

August 1, 2020 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond police have assigned a security detail to the mayor of the Virginia capital.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the decision revives a controversial practice from two previous administrations that current Mayor Levar Stoney ended when he took office.

In late June, the mayor’s spokesman said police had received “credible threats” against the mayor since he vowed to remove Confederate statues from the city’s historic Monument Avenue.

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“The mayor has spent the last three and a half years traveling to hundreds, if not thousands, of public and private events without police protection. Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that we are now in different times,” Stoney spokesman Jim Nolan wrote in an email.

On June 16, protesters showed up at Stoney’s downtown apartment building, and police said 20 people briefly entered the lobby before being removed by security. A crowd of 200 or more protesters gathered outside, shouting for Stoney to come out.

The cost of providing security for the mayor in the past made the expense an issue. Stoney ended the security detail when he took office.

The security detail’s annual costs varied from $300,000 in 2013 to more than $500,000 in 2015.