MANASSAS, Va. — Virginia Delegate Lee Carter said Virginia State Police officers pointed rifles in his direction and threw flash-bang grenades at him during a "Justice for George Floyd" protest in Manassas, Va.
During the protest, Carter said he tried to speak to a the officer in charge. He said he walked up to the line, where there was no one else, and identified himself before officers pointed rifles and threw a flashbang at him.
Carter told MSNBC News that he was hit by a flash-bang three times, twice while walking away.
Taking to Twitter, Carter shared his experience at the protest in response to allegations that his presence at the demonstration provoked and instigated the tensions between protesters and law enforcement. He explained that protesters actually thanked him for his actions and it made it "harder for the state police to violently attack the crowd."
"Imagine thinking that the response to an unprovoked flashbang grenade is the problem and not...The flashbang grenade," Carter said on Twitter.
On Saturday, the Prince William County Police Department said protesters disrupted traffic from the Sudley Road Corridor from Interstate 66 to the Manassas Mall. Police also asked residents to shelter in place Saturday evening as protests that started out as peaceful, turned violent.
Virginia State Police were called to the area of Sudley Manor Road to help Prince William County police with traffic and crowd control due to a large gathering of George Floyd protesters, police said.
Five people were arrested and several small fires were started during the protests, according to Prince William County Police. Arrests were made for assaults on police, and one person was arrested for a DUI and other offenses for driving through a police perimeter, nearly striking officers posted at the location.
It was reported that one state police trooper suffered a minor injury after he was struck in the head with a brick and his helmet took the brunt of the impact. Police said a second trooper also suffered a minor injury and was struck in the leg with a rock.