A coalition of activists including armed “boogaloo” and Black Lives Matter 757 members held an armed “Get the Strap” march to oppose police violence and gun control Saturday evening in Virginia Beach.
Police largely surveilled the group from a distance without making contact as they marched for about two hours. One masked “Boogaloo” member had an earpiece allowing him to listen to the police radio.
The group paused when officers apparently said someone called them to report the group had pointed a weapon at them. News2Share observed no such incident, and the police did not appear to respond to the report.
While many individuals in the group have rallied at Richmond, Newport News, and Virginia Beach, the “boogaloo” activists used new branding, describing themselves as “Virginia Kekoas” and wearing matching patches.
BLM757 leader JaPharii Jones led the group to the death site and makeshift memorials for Deshayla Harris and Donovon Lynch, the two fatalities amidst a shootout that begun among civilians, leaving six others injured.
Lynch was shot dead by police. Harris’s shooter is unclear.
Police wore bodycams but didn’t turn them on.
Jones is not new to activism in Virginia Beach. Last week, Jones was sentenced to two years in jail for allegedly “blocking roadway” and “resisting arrest” during a previous march.
He calls the sentence, which was suspended, a “slap in the face for democracy.”
No arrests occurred Sunday.
“In our experience, armed protesters don’t usually get… messed with,” one masked “Boogaloo Boy” told News2Share. “I wanna make sure that doesn’t happen to my buddy again.”
After additional BLM757 members joined in with the group, who then marched back along the Virginia Beach boardwalk.
“Black Lives Matter!” they chanted. “Say her her name! Which one? Say his name! Which one?”
“No justice, no peace!”
In an interview following the rally, Jones contended that there are “no good cops in a racist system.”
“I can’t speak for everyone in the group, but I would say so,” one Boogaloo said when asked by News2Share if they agree on the sentiment.
“All the rights for all the people,” another added.