Burlington police on Monday arrested a Winooski man who stood near Black Lives Matter protesters with a rifle for three consecutive days.
Jordan Atwood, 25, is not allowed to carry firearms as part of court-imposed restrictions for an unrelated pending criminal case. He was booked for violating those terms, police said.
Atwood was first spotted Saturday night standing in a parking lot of the Burlington Police Department, located across the street from where racial justice protesters have camped and protested daily for the past week.
Police told complaining witnesses that the unknown man appeared to be "exercising his Constitutional rights" because Vermont is an open-carry state, interim police chief Jon Murad wrote in a press release issued late Tuesday.
The following evening, a man believed to be Atwood was seen again at the corner of Battery Street and Pearl Street. A city cop spoke to him, but he refused to identify himself.
Police discovered his identity on Monday and learned that he was barred from possessing guns. They initiated a search warrant application, Murad wrote. Just before midnight, witnesses reported seeing an armed man, later identified as Atwood, walking up Church Street.
He was carrying an AR-15 and a pistol at the time of his arrest, police said.
In a statement late Tuesday, Mayor Miro Weinberger expressed "concern" for the safety of protesters and police. He asked demonstrators to coordinate forthcoming actions with the city "so that their safety, and the safety of the public, can be assured."
The city released information about Monday's incidents shortly before demonstrators were scheduled to begin marching to Battery Park.
Editors note: The photo on this story was replaced post-publication.