RVA RECAP: Songz, celebrations and Stuart

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Father’s Day weekend brought communities together through celebrity initiatives and Juneteenth celebrations. Sunday night, however, saw continued unrest with another round of protesters engaging in a standoff with police after vandals attempted to pull down the J.E.B. Stuart Monument.

SATURDAY

As part of a three-day weekend of events, Petersburg native Trey Songz hosted the Feed Your City event in his hometown Saturday to provide fresh groceries and PPE supplies to those in need.

Songz was challenged by fellow Virginia native Pusha T, who was also in Petersburg, to hold the event and teamed up with the Ricky Davis Foundation.

8News was at Friday’s Juneteenth Vigil and Saturday’s ‘Feed Your City’ campaign, and caught up with Songz. He said he will always remember his roots.

“This city has shown me so much, taught me so much,” said Songz. “I was born and raised here. I was taught to love here. I was taught to spread love here.”

Juneteenth celebrations continued throughout the day with The Elegba Folklore Society celebrating the new state holiday in virtually for the first time. The Freedom Celebration was live-streamed on their Facebook page for all to join in and watch.

RE-WATCH THE STREAM IN FULL HERE:

Hundreds of people also gathered for the Juneteenth Rally for Justice at Virginia Union University on Saturday afternoon.

Marcus Childress, the man behind the rally, said that it is natural to feel anger after seeing the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breona Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

“We wanted to couple the protests that were going on in Richmond with a dialogue and use that energy to push the Justice in Policing Act and educate,” Childress said.

The Justice In Policing Act aims to hold police accountable by banning choke-holds and putting an end to racial profiling.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine attended the event at Virginia Union and weighed in on the topic.

“It’s important to show people we’re not just listening, we have to listen, but we’re also taking concrete steps,” Kaine said. “People want to see results, they don’t just want to hear words.”

EARLY SUNDAY

Trey Songz’ third day of Black Lives Matter events continued on Sunday with a Father’s Day BLM Bike Ride.

He partnered with Urban Cycle Group and many people showed up throughout Richmond shouting “Black Lives Matter.”

SUNDAY NIGHT

Richmond Police declared an unlawful assembly at the J.E.B. Stuart Monument around 9:20 p.m. Sunday night after vandals attempted to pull down the J.E.B. Stuart statue with rope — which police said could have caused “serious injuries.”

Police describe an unlawful assembly as “whenever three or more persons assembled share the common intent to advance some lawful or unlawful purpose by the commission of an act or acts of unlawful force or violence likely to jeopardize seriously public safety, peace or order.”

Several dozen officers in riot gear pushed back against the crowd in a standoff at about 10 p.m. The demonstrators stood their ground.

In a video of the clash, an officer could be seen deploying pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Police said that there were no injuries from Sunday night’s events.

8News will be continuing to follow this story and provide updates throughout the day.

Fatal Arrest Fallout

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