Heavily armed SWAT teams respond to a peaceful protest in Richmond, raising questions about use of force and Gov. Bob McDonnell.
It's not quite the pepper-spray cop, but expect to hear more about this incident in the days to come. The video above is clearly shot and edited by someone with an agenda, but the images of militarized police it captures are striking. The newspaper Style Weekly has a series of excellent photographs of the event on Facebook.
On Saturday, protesters demonstrating against a new Virginia law mandating ultrasounds prior to an abortion marched on the state capitol in Richmond. Approaching the capitol, they were met by state troopers who told them they couldn't proceed because their permit didn't allow it. Before long, the protestors realize that a handful of cops probably couldn't stop them.
Disobeying police orders is often a good way to get in trouble, but things spun out of control remarkably quickly, as the video shows. The protestors, remaining peaceful and chanting, "This is what democracy looks like!" march up to the building, plant themselves on the steps, and lock arms. Suddenly, the handful of cops are supplemented by a squad of heavily armored riot police. After them come come combat-fatigued, masked officers with what appear to be shotguns and automatic rifles.