LYNCHBURG, Va. – On Monday, one of the several people recently arrested after nights of protest in Lynchburg is out on bond after police said he incited a riot outside the Fifth and Federal restaurant.
The group Lynchburg Community Bail Fund helped bail him out. Groups like this are popping up across the country, helping those who have been arrested during protests.
Bryant Kemper is the first person Lynchburg’s group has helped.
Kemper walked out of the Lynchburg Regional Jail and embraced his family after sitting behind bars for almost a week.
“Feels good to be home,” said Kemper.
He said he didn’t want to be apart of the violence at Miller Park on Monday night, June 1, and was driving away when officers surrounded his car.
“They had a barricade and they were saying that they had a warrant for my arrest, which I didn’t understand because I didn’t do anything,” recalled Kemper.
Lynchburg police told 10 News that Kemper was taken in by the tactical unit and a stun gun was used on him.
“The first thing that came to my mind was I’m not resisting,” continued Kemper.
The 38-year-old is facing several charges, including incitement of riot, unlawful assembly and carrying a concealed weapon.
Charges police said they’ve connected to the Sunday, May 31, night riot at Fifth and Federal streets after watching hours of video.
“I didn’t think I’d be doing it this soon but then the arrests happened, and I knew it had to happen,” said Sonja Harding, a team member with the Lynchburg Community Bail Fund group.
In less than a week, the group has raised more than $8,000.
“I think it’s coming out from a lot of people just having a lot of energy wanting to prove that they do care about Black lives. They care about stopping police brutality,” said Harding.
Kemper admitted that he’s not perfect and has a criminal past, but he believes in this incident, he was misunderstood.
“I don’t want to say I feel like I’m a victim or I was victimized. I’m just misunderstood. That’s all,” said Kemper.
The group Paid 10% of Kemper’s $10,000 bond.
As a condition of his release, he is on a curfew, must be on good behavior and cannot leave the state before the trial.
Below is the statement 10 News received regarding Kemper’s arrest:
As part of our investigation into the unlawful behavior that took place Sunday night, our officers and detectives are pouring over hours of video to ensure that anyone who participated in criminal activity is appropriately charged. Based on their investigation, warrants were obtained for charges #1-#3 below and Bryant Kemper was arrested for those charges. Officers and detectives were able to confirm all these charges by watching video from the incident. When he was taken into custody, Kemper had brass knuckles on his person, which is the reason for charges #4 and #5.
- RIOT AND UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY - Conspire with, incite others to riot
- RIOT AND UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY - Participate in unlawful assembly, generally
- RIOT AND UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY - Participate in riot with firearm or weapon
- WEAPONS - Carry concealed weapon
- WEAPONS - Convicted felon in possession of a concealed weapon
Kemper was taken into custody by members of the LPD Tactical Unit and was tased as part of the arrest. As with all Uses of Force, the LPD is thoroughly investigating the taser deployment.