Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Protesters in Hampton, Norfolk demand justice for George Floyd. Four arrested in Hampton

Protesters gathered in Hampton and Norfolk Friday, May 29, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd. (WYDaily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)
Protesters gathered in Hampton and Norfolk Friday, May 29, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd. (WYDaily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)

Protests spurred by the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue in several cities in the nation, the fiercest being where it happened.

Protesters burned businesses in Minneapolis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and chanted curses at President Donald Trump outside the White House. Thousands also demonstrated peacefully, demanding justice for Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck.

The now former officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, who was fired along with three other officers who were at the scene, faces more than 12 years in prison if convicted of murder.

Locally, hundreds gathered in Hampton and Norfolk Friday night, both with the same chants: “No Justice. No peace.” “I can’t breathe.”

Protesters hit the streets in Norfolk and Hampton at 7:57 p.m. The local protests were led by Black Lives Matter 757.

In Hampton, protesters met at Fort Monroe; in Norfolk, at Martin Luther King Park.

At one time Hampton protesters blocked Interstate 64, shutting down the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel for a while — they entered the highway shortly before 9 p.m. and stopped traffic in both directions, causing delays before moving on.

Parts of Brambleton Avenue were also blocked on the Norfolk side.

“After a short rally, the group deviated from the previously agreed upon plans and made their way to the area of Interstate 64 eastbound where they physically stopped traffic in both directions by positioning themselves in the roadway,” according to a Hampton Police news release.

Protesters dispersed from I-64 and went to the Peninsula Town Center. After marching there, the group made their way onto Cunningham Drive, and eventually onto West Mercury Boulevard near the I-64 interchange.

Hampton Police said protesters apparently split into two groups: one comprised of Black Lives Matter 757 that went back to the Peninsula Town Center and dispersed peacefully; the second group remained in the area of West Mercury Boulevard. That crowd confronted officers in the Lidl parking lot who had re-positioned to that area for security, and the demonstrators physically blocked traffic in both directions on the boulevard.

Police said that group refused to peacefully disperse and began throwing items at the officers.

The Virginia State Police, Hampton Police, and Hampton Sheriff’s Office were on scene; Newport News Police officers also responded. Several other local jurisdictions were placed on standby.

Two adults and two juveniles were arrested for assault on law enforcement and disorderly conduct — they were not among the Black Lives Matter 757 group, police said.

Police said the protest ended at around 2:26 a.m. Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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