HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Just days after announcing charges would be brought after a Black Lives Matter 757 protest on West Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, police say they have served warrants against the group’s organizer.
Hampton Police say Aubrey Dwight Jones, 35, of Newport News, has been charged in reference to this incident. He has been charged with one count of obstructing the free passage of others, one count of improper use of a highway by a pedestrian, and one count of failing to obey the lawful order of police.
Jones was served and released on a summons for each of the charges, police said.
On Friday following the protest, police announced they would charge the protest organizers — but did not name Jones — because demonstrators did not comply with police orders to stay on the sidewalk and minimize the impact to traffic.
The march started just before 8 p.m. and went from the old Kmart on West Mercury Boulevard. Demonstrators could be seen in a BLM757 livestream marching in the westbound lanes of the road. THey ended up stopping and kneeling for several minutes at the intersection of Coliseum Drive. They then turned around and walked in the eastbound lanes of West Mercury Boulevard back toward their starting point.
Police were present for the march. Several cruisers and bicycle officers moved along with the marchers and did traffic control at intersections.
Police say the march being in the roadway and blocking several lanes of traffic went against directions they had given organizers earlier.
“Once the organizer(s) arrived at the parking lot of 210 West Mercury Boulevard [Kmart], they were instructed to keep the crowd on the sidewalk for the duration of the event to ensure the safety of participants and to minimize the impact to vehicular traffic in the area,” police wrote in a news release.
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