Black Lives Matter protest held in Virginia Beach

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 10:03:35-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Black Lives Matter activists held a protest walk in Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon.

According to the event's organizers, participants met at Mount Trashmore Park, then walked to the Virginia Beach Town Center.

"We are taking a stand against the systematic racial oppression, abuse and genocide of African Americans in this country," the event's Facebook page read. "As we walk through the streets of Town Center they will hear our voices. Be prepared to walk. All in support are welcome."

Interim Police Chief Tony Zucaro issued an apology Saturday regarding a letter delivered to Town Center businesses ahead of the protest. The letter warned business owners of the demonstration, and suggested businesses pull down and lock burglar gates, bar windows and doors and call police if "suspicious guests" are present at local hotels.

"I apologize for how the letter sent to our Town Center business community characterized today's event," Zucaro said on Facebook. "It does not reflect the cooperative effort that has occurred between the Police Department’s leadership and event organizers.

"As soon as I learned about it, we contacted the organizers to apologize and to assure them that I did not approve the content. It did not reflect our expectations and understanding of today’s gathering or how we have worked with organizers to ensure they can host a peaceful and successful event.

"I have taken the necessary steps to ensure appropriate communications from the department will occur moving forward."

Saturday's protest was the latest in a string of protests related to police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a Minneapolis Police officer when the officer put a knee on Floyd's neck during an arrest.