Black Lives Matter 757 marched Saturday night throughout Virginia Beach, drawing attention to the site of a mass shooting that left nine injured and two dead last month.
Donovan Lynch, who would have turned 26 Saturday, was shot by police amidst a firefight between civilians. Police initially claimed Lynch was armed but later retracted their claim, saying that a firearm was “in the vicinity” of his body and that there was “no immediate evidence” it belonged to him.
At least one additional injured person was hit by police, and three were arrested. Deshayla E. Harris, 28, who police admit was a bystander, was also killed by a stray bullet, but police have not charged anyone in her shooting.
An organizer with BLM757 contended that police likely killed her in the crossfire. The officers involved wore bodycameras, but did not activate them during the incident.
Arrest for previous protest
Black Lives Matter 757 leader JaPharii Jones turned himself in to the Newport News Police in Virginia, who then drove him to Virginia Beach where he faced multiple warrants Monday night. A few members of Virginia’s Black Panther Party followed Jones to support him as he turned himself in.
Footage by Sean CW Korsgaard for News2Share
He was released hours later. Jones explained an incident earlier in the day in which he felt he was being followed by police. He was later called and informed of multiple warrants.
Jones later rallied ahead of a Windsor Town Council meeting, where attendees spoke out against the Windsor Police Department, whose officers pepper-sprayed and a Black Army lieutenant and held him at gunpoint.
He spoke to Wight County Sheriff’s Deputies, who mostly were unwilling to talk but clarified that they are a separate law enforcement agency than the ones involved in recent controversies in the area.
A family in mourning
The family of Donovan Lynch released balloons and doves in his honor earlier Saturday afternoon, which would have been be his 26th birthday.
“He’s here in spirit. He’s here in our hearts,” said Wayne Lynch, Donovan’s father. “We’re gonna keep his name alive.”
He says he’s made a career of protecting the lives of young Black men and will continue to expand on that effort.
The family released four doves. One symbolized Donovan, and three symbolized the Christian Holy Trinity.
“We love you Donovan,” his father waved as the doves flew into the distance.