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Hundreds of officers respond to Valley View Walmart as store closes early due to protests

Organizers say this is not the same group as downtown protesters

Protesters have gathered at Valley View Walmart
Protesters have gathered at Valley View Walmart (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va.9:45 P.M. UPDATE

Roanoke city manager Bob Cowell has released a statement on the protests that have moved throughout the city, causing businesses to close in their wake.

"I commend those that peacefully gathered today to exercise their right assemble and vocalize their understandable anger with the events that occurred in Minneapolis. I also thank the Roanoke Police Department for their work to ensure the safety of those assembled.

I join Mayor Lea and Cheif Roman in stating that unlawful activities such as those that occurred in separate events earlier this evening in the Valley View area will not be tolerated.

The City will continue to support those that peacefully exercise their rights and will do what is necessary to protect lives and property from those that choose to engage in unlawful activities."

9:30 P.M. UPDATE

Protesters continue to move through Roanoke, causing a slew of businesses to close in their wake.

To keep up with the latest information, click here to view an article that will be updated throughout the night.

8:30 P.M. UPDATE

According to our crew at the scene, there are hundreds of officers responding to a large protest at the Valley View Walmart.

There is also a separate crowd gathered at the Valley View Target, where one person has been arrested and protesters say pepper spray has been deployed. There also appears to be property damage at the store.

Organizers from the peaceful protest in downtown Roanoke on Saturday afternoon say this is not the same group that was demonstrating downtown.


ORIGINAL STORY

Walmart at Valley View is closing its doors early as a precaution to protests in Roanoke.

There’s a heavy police presence on the scene.

10 news has a crew on the scene.

Stay with us for updates.