Community members gather in Virginia Beach for ‘Occupy the Oceanfront’ protest

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Organizers of a Black Lives Matter protest Saturday night at the Oceanfront vowed to keep it orderly, to honor the lives of two people who were killed there the night of March 26.

The group of about 35 started at 5:45 with a rally in front of the iconic statue of King Neptune at 31st and the Boardwalk. At about 8:30 they marched south along the Boardwalk. While some were local, others were from Richmond, including a woman who gave her name only as Alice.

“I am protesting against police brutality and the killing of a lot of people,” saying she wanted “justice over peace”.

“We just want to be heard, we just want change,” said a man from Richmond who called himself Green.

The protest comes a week after multiple shootings at the Oceanfront killed two people and injured numerous others.

It’s been a little over a week since the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Deshayla E. Harris of Norfolk, and the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Donovon W. Lynch of Virginia Beach.

The officer involved in the shooting, who’s been with the department for five years, was equipped with a body camera, but it was not turned on for unknown reasons, Neudigate said.

“It’s egregious. It should be a complete termination,” said BLM 757 leader Japharii Jones. “It should be an automatic charge, because with all the mayhem that was going on that day, how do you not have your body camera on?”

Further, another officer that was a witness to the shooting was a plainclothes detective.

So far, six men have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Three are charged in connection with the actual shootings, while three others are accused of selling firearms to convicted felons.

On Tuesday, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate announced the Virginia State Police would take over the investigation of the shooting that killed Lynch.

Virginia State Police are now asking for witnesses to come forward as they investigate a fatal officer-involved shooting Friday night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Chesapeake Field Office is asking anyone who saw the encounter between the police officer and Lynch, or anyone who has other information on the incident, to come forward.

Anyone with information or cell phone video before, of, or after the shooting should contact the Virginia State Police at 757-424-6800 or by email at questions@vsp.virginia.gov. Anonymous tips are welcome.

A seventh man is accused of hitting a police officer with his car as he fled the area.

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