News to Know for June 9: Statue removal halted; Proposal to overhaul policing; COVID-19 case jump expected; Humidity skyrockets

News to Know for June 9: Statue removal halted; Proposal to overhaul policing; COVID-19 case jump expected; Humidity skyrockets
An inspection crew from the Virginia Department of General Services takes measurements as they inspect the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Monday June 8, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of the statue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Source: Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at our top headlines to help get you out the door.

Humidity Skyrockets

Hopefully, you had a chance to enjoy yesterday’s gorgeous weather, because the humidity is back and will stay high through Thursday - which is now a FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY for downpours and potentially severe weather.

Humidity shoots up today, rain likely Thursday

Statue Removal Halted - For Now

The temporary injunction order issued Monday says the state is a party to a deed recorded in March 1890 whereby it accepted the statue, pedestal and ground they sit on and agreed to “faithfully guard and affectionately protect” them.

An inspection crew from the Virginia Department of General Services inspect the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Monday June. 8, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of the statue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
An inspection crew from the Virginia Department of General Services inspect the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Monday June. 8, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of the statue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Northam last week ordered the statue of Lee taken down, citing the pain felt across the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck. His administration “remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia’s capital city.”

Request to Defund Police

A Richmond city councilman is requesting to defund the city’s police department - a common message seen at protests nationwide.

Councilman Michael Jones said in a statement, “Funding must be reallocated to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by over-policing and a continued lack of resources.” Jones went on to say the city needs to support black people, organizations and businesses within Richmond.

Meanwhile in Congress...

Democrats are proposing an overhaul of police procedures and accountability after the mass protests over the deaths of black Americans at the hand of law enforcement.

The package limits legal protections for police, creates a national database of excessive-force incidents and bans police chokeholds, among other changes that, if enacted, would have massive implications on policing in the U.S.

It’s not clear whether the legislation will pass, especially in an election year and amid calls to “defund the police” and growing protests. Here’s a few things to know about the bill and how it could make a difference.

Herring’s on Board with Reform

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined 17 other states asking Congress for authority to investigate local police misconduct and brutality. Right now, that falls under the department of justice, but Herring says the feds are not doing the job.

RPD to Self Review

The Richmond Police Department is reviewing its use of force during the protests. Chief Will Smith says the department is also investigating several formal complaints against officers.

And for the second time, he apologized for the use of tear gas on peaceful protesters, saying it should have never happened.

No Curfew Charges

Hundreds of Richmond protesters who violated the city’s curfew will not face jail time.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Colette McEachin announced yesterday that demonstrators will no longer face jail time, but fines are still on the table.

Hate Crime Charges

That’s what could be filed against the man accused of driving through protesters in Henrico over the weekend.

KKK leader accused of driving into protesters

Harry Rogers, 36, has admitted to being a leader in the ku klux klan, according to Henrico’s commonwealth’s attorney.

Officials say he revved the engine of his truck, moments before driving through the protestors, injuring one person.

COVID-19 Case Jump Expected

Officials say a data backlog of 13,000 test results will be added to the current numbers over the next few days.

We’re told a Richmond area lab was sending results via fax, which had to be entered manually, contributing to the backlog. Results are mostly negative tests, and the lab is now submitting results electronically.

Update Coming Today

Governor Northam will be holding his coronavirus press briefing today at 2 p.m. He’s expected to address a plan for schools reopening.

You can watch it live on the NBC12 news app, our website and our Facebook page.

Eviction Moratorium

Evictions are once again halted across Virginia, this time until June 28. The governor’s office says it will use that time to develop some sort of rent relief program.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is pushing for it to last until the pandemic is over, saying restarting evictions could lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases. More than a thousand eviction cases in Richmond are already on hold.

Free Testing Continues

Free coronavirus testing in Richmond today at Second Baptist Church on Broad Rock Boulevard from 10 to 1. Find more Richmond events here.

People in Chesterfield will have their chance tomorrow at Falling Creek Ironworks Park at on Jefferson Davis Highway. You are asked to make an appointment for this one, just call 804-318-8207.

Glamping Can Restart

It comes with two major changes from normal operations to ensure visitor safety during the COVID-19 pandemic: the discontinuation of linen services and the addition of a 24-hour rest period between bookings.

Of course, camping in a tent is also an option - those areas of the parks have already reopened. And many facilities remain closed - some through the summer. Make sure you know before you go!

Final Thought

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change” -Albert Einstein

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.