‘Ray Boone ... rolling in his grave’

8/13/2020, 6 p.m.
Re Editorial “Disturbing,” Free Press June 25-27 edition:

Re Editorial “Disturbing,” Free Press June 25-27 edition:

The late iconic Richmond Free Press Publisher Raymond H. Boone Sr. must be rolling over in his grave.

A lengthy recently published editorial called “Disturbing” criticized Mayor Levar M. Stoney for allowing peaceful protesters to be gassed, bullied and beaten by Richmond Police.

The editorial went on to denounce Mayor Stoney for hiring Interim Police Chief William “Jody” Blackwell who, 18 years ago, was brought before a Richmond grand jury for shooting an innocent black man, Jeramy O. Gilliam, in the back.

Indeed, Mr. Gilliam’s family has called for Mayor Stoney to resign.

Finally, the editorial described a “cloud” that descended over both the Richmond Police Department as well as Mayor Stoney. The editorial called upon Mayor Stoney to “address the issue publicly.” The editorial concluded by saying if addressing the issue publicly can’t be done, then Mayor Stoney should go.

If I had been elected mayor and had committed the sins that the Free Press has outlined against Mayor Stoney, the editorial would have screamed “Joe must go!” There would have been no call for me to simply “address the issue publicly.”

Accordingly, I find the Free Press editorial itself to be disturbing.



The writer represents the 16th District in the Virginia Senate. He ran unsuccessfully for Richmond’s mayor in November 2016.