A protest near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront turned tense Saturday when marchers refused police orders to get off the street and move to the sidewalk.
About five members of the group were handcuffed and received a summons after they ignored repeated warnings.
“We respect your right to peacefully assemble,” one officer with a bullhorn said to the group of about 20 people. “But you are in violation of state code. Please move to the sidewalk.”
After the summonses were issued, those taken into custody were released. The demonstrators then continued their march on the sidewalk as they headed toward the police department’s Second Precinct on Virginia Beach Boulevard.
Saturday’s event was held to protest the shooting of Donovon Lynch, a 25-year-old man who was killed two weeks ago by a Virginia Beach police officer.
Angie Day, the organizer of Saturday’s event, said the group wants the officer to be held accountable and for a federal investigation to be conducted of the incident.
Police have said Lynch was brandishing a handgun, but his family and friends say the gun was in his pocket and he hadn’t threatened anyone. The officer was wearing a body camera, but hadn’t activated it, according to police.
Saturday’s protest began about 4 p.m., at the intersection of 20th Street and Pacific Avenue, near where Lynch was killed. Carrying signs and chanting, the group walked on Pacific Avenue and then turned onto Virginia Beach Boulevard toward the precinct.
Shortly after they turned, about a half-dozen officers on bikes rode up and blocked the street. Several more arrived shortly afterward. Many of the protesters began shouting at the officers, and stood their ground as a handful of cars waited for the area to be cleared.
Those who were taken into custody were told they were being charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, firstname.lastname@example.org