Police arrested five people and issued three summons Friday night during a protest at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, according to a spokeswoman for the city’s police department.
The charges included: pedestrian in the roadway (seven); obstruction of justice (three); and drunk in public (two).
A group of around 25 activists had gathered to protest police brutality on Atlantic Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the resort area. Police said the protesters did not have a permit and prevented them from marching in the street.
“The event organizer was spoken to prior to commencement of the event, and it was explained to them as this was a non-permitted event, they could not be in the roadway, or interfere with the flow of traffic,” police spokeswoman Linda Kuehn wrote in an email Saturday.
So instead, the protesters marched on the sidewalk as a line of police officers with bicycles walked beside them in the street. The group of protesters grew to about 75 as they crossed at nearly every intersection until they reached 30th Street before heading back to the inlet, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“We did not receive cooperation from the event organizer and the group started crossing each intersection against the traffic control devices,” Kuehn wrote. “They were reminded again to follow the traffic control devices when they crossed.”
At the 30th Street intersection, an officer was overheard telling a protester they were “arrested for crossing against the red hand,” a reference to the crosswalk light, according to a Virginian-Pilot reporter.
The group’s activities would not have required a permit if there was no interference with traffic, Kuehn added.
Stacy Parker, 757-222-5125, email@example.com
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