Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) appeared alongside former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D), and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) at a rally of over 100 people outside a Portsmouth church on Tuesday, according to reporting by The Associated Press. The rally came after police charged five more people in relation to a June 10 protest. That protest initially lead to 14 people, including Lucas, have been charged with felonies for damage done to a Confederate monument.
In his speech, McAuliffe said, “I am here for the Portsmouth 19, I think it’s an outrage what has happened to these 19 individuals, and I pray to God that they drop the charges… you think this is helpful to your community, to have this message all across the globe at time [when] we’re in a COVID crisis? … Who wants to come to Portsmouth now with this type of racial division that we have today?”
“This extraordinary group of people right now are a symbol of injustice in this nation, ” Fairfax said in reporting by The Virginian-Pilot. “But because of the fight that we are going to have together, we are going to turn them into a symbol of justice.”
Scott said the people of Portsmouth have the power to change the situation, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Scott said, “Elections have consequences, and we need to make sure that in Portsmouth, we have the right people making the right decisions.”
The rally was held a few hours after Governor Ralph Northam (D) said he would not retract limits on gatherings larger than 50 people in Eastern Virginia. Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) tweeted, “Governor this week REFUSED TO REMOVE REGULATIONS on Hampton Roads and continued gathering limits to 50 PEOPLE. I must have missed the part where he EXEMPTED DEMOCRAT RALLIES.”
Delegate Don Scott (D-Norfolk), who is legally representing Lucas, replied to Davis, “Man, [y]ou gangsta. I thought we were friends.”
Davis replied, “We are. I’ve got no problem with your event. You didn’t create the regulations. If it was up to me, I’d allow more safe social distancing events to occur.”
Lucas and the 13 who were charged with her are expected to appear in court on September 4.
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