News to Know for June 16: Tear gas used on protesters 2nd straight night; RPS to reassess RPD relationship; Hit-and-run suspect search; Light rain expected

News to Know for June 16: Tear gas used on protesters 2nd straight night; RPS to reassess RPD relationship; Hit-and-run suspect search; Light rain expected
Tear gas was used on protesters in Richmond for the second straight night. (Source: Hannah Eason - The Commonwealth Times)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s going to be another cool, wet day throughout RVA, but at least it’s not Monday. Here’s a quick look at our top headlines to help get you out the door.

Grab Your Umbrella

If you plan to be outside, you’ll need it. Expect light rain on and off throughout the day with another round of cool temperatures.

Cool, cloudy and rainy again with more rain to come

Hit-and-Run Suspect Search

Police are searching for the pick-up truck driver involved in a hit-and-run crash with an ambulance early Monday morning.

Police say the private ambulance was hit when the pick-up truck driver ran a red light.

The ambulance sustained heavy damage to the front of the vehicle but no one was hurt.
The ambulance sustained heavy damage to the front of the vehicle but no one was hurt. (Source: NBC12)

The ambulance sustained heavy damage to the front of the vehicle but no one was hurt. Police say the driver ran from the scene and they have K9 units helping search for the suspect.

Tear Gas Used on Protesters

The group gathered there to demand the defunding of police. “We’re asking that the officers be held accountable who are involved in these acts of aggression,” one protester said. It isn’t currently known what exactly led to chemical agents being deployed.

Councilman Mike Jones joined protesters at one point Monday night. Afterward, he simply tweeted “Can’t believe what I saw this evening.”

Officers Recovering

Three law enforcement officers are recovering this morning after officials say they were injured during protests that turned violent Sunday night into Monday morning.

Virginia State Police say a sergeant was taken to VCU medical center after being hit in the leg by a piece of asphalt thrown by a protester.

Among the #VSP injured, was a sergeant who was transported to VCU Medical Center to be treated for a leg injury after...

Posted by Virginia State Police on Monday, June 15, 2020

A state trooper was struck in the head with an unidentified object, but was wearing a helmet and only suffered a minor injury.

And police say a Richmond police officer was also hurt after being struck with a bullhorn.

Calls to Defund Police

Meanwhile, the ACLU of Virginia penned a letter to city leaders, calling for the officers involved to be held accountable. The group also called for charges to be dropped against protesters and for the police department to be Defunded.

Councilman Mike Jones also released a statement calling for the 2021 fiscal year budget to be brought back to the council with amendments to take back money from the police department.

Trump on Police Reform

The order would create a new database, tracking police misconduct. It will also include language that encourages police officers to seek help from mental health professionals when dealing with addiction issues, homelessness and mental illness.

RPS to Reassess Relationship with RPD

Education advocate hopes mental health experts replace school resource officers

RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras said during Monday’s meeting that the school board would recommend reviewing its relationship with RPD during the next 90 days, and that review process would include heavy community involvement.

One education advocate, who’s worked in schools for 30 years, says more mental health counselors working with students would be more beneficial. While she is in favor of removing school resource officers, she adds that the police can provide valuable leadership for public school students, pointing out that they can provide mentorship programs and advice.

UVA Logo Change

The University of Virginia has changed its athletic logo after controversy over a subtle detail.

The previous logo featured a serpentine spiral on the sword handles, meant to mimic the walls found on campus. It’s been modified after athletic directors were made aware that those walls on campus were originally built to keep enslaved laborers on campus from public view.

The directors apologized for the error, saying there was no intent to cause harm.

Absentee Ballot Deadline

Voters will pick the Republican who will challenge Senator Mark Warner in November. Meanwhile, Congressman Donald McEachin faces a Democratic primary challenge in the fourth district. You can vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary - not both.

Residents are encouraged to vote absentee for the primary amid the pandemic.

Coronavirus Alert

Today, Governor Northam will provide another coronavirus briefing as the entire state is now under phase two of his reopening plan.

Nearly 55,000 Virginians have tested positive and 1,552 have died since the pandemic began. Northam’s update is set for 2 p.m. this afternoon. You can watch it live on NBC12′s website and Facebook page.

Free Testing Today

Free testing continues in Richmond today at Diversity Richmond on Sherwood Avenue.

It’s from 9 to 11 a.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but you are encouraged to bring an umbrella because you will have to wait in line outside before being tested inside.

Holy Turtle!

Fairfax County Police recently got a call about a large turtle that kept crossing the road in a residential area, and it turned out to be this massive guy!

Fairfax County Police found a 65 pound alligator snapping turtle in a residential area of Alexandria.
Fairfax County Police found a 65 pound alligator snapping turtle in a residential area of Alexandria. (Source: Fairfax County Police)

It was a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle - a breed not native to Virginia. It’s believed it was a captive-bred turtle that was released into the wild.

It was safely captured and now has a new home at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk where he could eventually grow to weigh over 200 pounds!

Final Thought

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” -Harriet Tubman

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