Organizers facing charges following Black Lives Matter rally in Hampton

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Posted at 6:06 AM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 17:27:07-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The organizers of a Friday night Black Lives Matter demonstration are facing charges, according to the Hampton Police Division.

35-year-old Aubrey Dwight Jones 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 released on a summons for each of the charges, according to police.

According to police, the demonstration, which was not a sanctioned or permitted event, began at 7:57 p.m. Participants marched from the parking lot at 210 W. Mercury Boulevard to the Lasalle Avenue overpass, then attempted to position themselves in the westbound travel lanes of W. Mercury Boulevard, blocking the three right lanes and allowing westbound traffic to pass in the left lane.

The group stopped in the intersection of W. Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive, where they rallied for a short time before heading eastbound on Mercury Boulevard back to the parking lot where they started. The demonstration ended at approximately 9:51 p.m.

Officers were not able to contact the demonstration's organizers prior to the event. Once the organizers arrived at the parking lot of 210 W. Mercury Boulevard, 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."

According to police, the organizers failed to comply with those requests, and charges are pending against them.