Peaceful rally turns tense as protesters clash with police in Virginia Beach

Virginia News

Correction: A previous copy of this post listed the incorrect name for the organizers of the protest. It has since been corrected.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A peaceful protest in Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon turned into a tense standoff between protesters and police.

Members of The Underground 1865, including founder Angie Day, and local residents organized the weekend rally at Donovon Lynch’s memorial, where he lost his life three weeks prior in an officer-involved shooting.

“There’s no reason that it is three weeks and we still are asking for accountability and asking for the officer’s name, asking who was involved, asking what happened that night,” she said. “It’s so many answers that have been left unopened.”

Community members say they’re angry that more details haven’t been released by police since the incident — specifically about why the officer’s body camera was turned off.

As community members wait for answers, Bilal Muhammad from Stop the Violence Team says there’s plenty of work to be done building that relationship between city leaders, police and the community.

“There’s a wall there,” he said. “And if we can knock that wall down and open up our heart more, I think we’ll become better citizens working together in the community.”

Some say that work starts with conversations at home to prevent the violence seen three weeks ago.

“That means one, first having important conversations at home about your self worth, your confidence, in order to let your children know that they are loved,” said Day. “That they don’t have to go out there and try to be someone else that they’re not and handle these guns.”

A couple of minutes into the march, protesters clashed with officers resulting in members of the Virginia Beach Police detaining protesters as they began marching down streets — which is illegal.

WAVY News 10’s Jon Dowding reported on social media that police detained at least 5 people during the protest, but later released them with future summons in court.

Around 10 to 20 officers responded to the protest at the Oceanfront.

The latest comes as community members continue to demand details from police about Lynch’s death, while expressing their need to have their calls for transparency and accountability be heard.

“We want that closeness, but it takes both of us to come together,” said Muhammad. “Let us sit at the table and resolve situations that exist in different communities throughout Virginia Beach.”

The 25-year-old was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer during the chaos at the Oceanfront late March. Lynch was one of two people killed during the shootings.

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