‘Battle of the Badges’: Charity basketball game benefits family of slain Richmond firefighter

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond firefighters went head-to-head against Richmond police officers in the annual “Battle of the Badges” charity basketball game to claim the title for 2020.

A portion of the money raised this year will benefit the family of Lt. Ashley Berry, a Richmond firefighter and mother who was murdered in Hopewell on Thanksgiving.

Tip-off was at 3:15 p.m. at the Robins Center at the University of Richmond.

The fire department took home the win, beating the police department 40-21.

Although the fire department won the big game, firefighters said there was more to the meaning of the game today and it was great to see people come out and support the Berry family.

The Berry family was in attendance and said the community support has been a form of therapy.

“Well, it’s been a roller coaster, but we’re getting through it,” Waverly Berry, Lt. Berry’s father said. “So, we’re going to enjoy this moment, try to get some smiles and laughter and good memories from this game.” 

Lt. Berry died a hero, shielding her son from gunfire that erupted on Thanksgiving Day. Berry’s boyfriend, Carlos Samuels, said the pain has been unimaginable.

“It’s been one of the toughest things I’ve dealt with in my life,” Samuel said. “It’s been very hard. The only thing that’s been keeping me going is the family.” 

In December, authorities arrested a person of interest in the case, but there is still a $5,000 reward leading to an arrest in Lt. Berry’s death.

After the game, RPD and RFD players were recognized during Richmond Spiders vs. Dayton Flyers game.

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