Armed officer arrested for trespassing near Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond: Police

Police said he was standing on the roof of a building with a handgun.

June 20, 2020, 12:40 PM

A 38-year-old officer was charged with trespassing after he was allegedly spotted with a firearm on the roof of an unoccupied building overlooking the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, police said Saturday.

Police identified the man as Riley O'Shaughnessey, an officer with the Richmond International Airport Police Department. O'Shaughnessey was not charged with a weapons-related crime because he was legally carrying the handgun.

No shots were fired, and the area was deemed secure after being searched, police said.

"The situation at 1805 Monument Avenue has been resolved," police wrote on Twitter.

Police said they received a call around 6:30 a.m. about the man. Eyewitnesses told police they saw him on the roof with a firearm.

At approximately 7:47 a.m., as officers were preparing to enter the building, an individual was spotted just outside the building, according to police. O'Shaughnessey was then taken into custody.

The public is now allowed into the area.

People visit a monument of Confederate general Robert E. Lee after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal after widespread civil unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Richmond, Va. June 5, 2020.
Julia Rendleman/Reuters

Though no details were released about what caused the incident, it comes as the future of the monument plays out in court.

Protesters calling for racial justice across the country have demanded statues of Confederate leaders, like Lee, be taken down.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's order to remove the statue is under an indefinite injunction following a judge's order.