Protesters demand Family Dollar take responsibility for Alecia Nelson’s arrest

Despite freezing temperatures and light snowfall Saturday, protesters gathered outside a Family Dollar store in Richmond to protest the corporation’s role in the violent arrest of Alecia Nelson.

A video of a Richmond Police officer kneeling on Nelson’s back while she screamed “I can’t breathe” went viral last week.

The incident happened at the Family Dollar location on Westover Hills Boulevard on March 7, and according to witnesses in the video, began when the supervisor of the store called the police on Nelson for allegedly shoplifting. The video shows the officer, identified by The Roanoke Times as Graham Lang, violently detaining Nelson before shoving two bystanders, one of whom was filming the incident.

The protest Saturday was hosted by the Black Power Movement and The Black Panther Party of Richmond, two local activist organizations which work to combat racial inequality in the justice system. Pops Holmes is the leader of…

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