Saturday, December 5, 2020

Virginia Black Lives Matter leader found guilty of two protest-related charges for blocking traffic

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A Virginia Black Lives Matter leader was found guilty Wednesday morning in connection with a protest against police brutality that snarled traffic for almost two hours.

Aubrey Jones, a 35-year-old Newport News man, already is appealing the convictions of obstructing free passage of others, a misdemeanor; and of being a pedestrian improperly on a highway. He was accused of blocking traffic during a July protest in nearby Hampton, court records show.

He was acquitted of a second misdemeanor charge of failing to obey a lawful police order. Jones is the leader of Black Lives Matter 757, according to WAVY. The number is the local area code.

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The July 10 protest that led to Jones’ charges also began at 7:57 p.m., according to Hampton Police.

Aubrey “Japharii” Jones, one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter 757, speaks out against racial injustice, proposes specific solutions to current problems, and encourages positive change moving forward, during the Black Lives Matter 757 Peace Rally  on June 5, in Hampton, Va.  (Photo by Annette Holloway/Icon Sportswire)

“The crowd moved westbound on foot from the parking lot onto the sidewalk in front of 210 W. Mercury Boulevard,” police said in a statement. “After a short rally near the Lasalle Avenue overpass, the group attempted to position themselves in the westbound travel lanes of W. Mercury Boulevard.”

Police said the protesters blocked three of the road’s four lanes before marching onward and eventually took up just two lanes before heading home just before 10 p.m.

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At one point, they halted and stopped to kneel at the intersection of Coliseum Drive

Police said the group had been instructed to remain on the sidewalk and was demonstrating without a permit. Jones’ attorney did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

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