News to Know for June 22: Tear gas used during ‘unlawful assembly'; Another statue pulled down; Father’s Day BLM Ride; Severe weather today

News to Know for June 22: Tear gas used during ‘unlawful assembly'; Another statue pulled down; Father’s Day BLM Ride; Severe weather today
Protesters say Richmond police deployed tear gas during a protest near the J.E.B. Stuart statue in Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Rain and storm chances are going up for this afternoon, but first, there will be plenty of dry hours Monday morning. Here’s a quick look at our top headlines to help you start your workweek.

First Alert Weather Day

A few scattered showers and storms are expected between 3 and 9 p.m.

First Alert Weather Day: Scattered storms after 3 p.m. could be strong or severe

Police Declare ‘Unlawful Assembly'

Protesters say Richmond police deployed tear gas during a protest near the J.E.B. Stuart statue in Richmond.

A standoff between police and protesters continued into the early morning hours Monday even after police declared an “unlawful assembly” around 9:30 p.m. Sunday after protesters attempted to pull down the J.E.B Stuart statue with rope, which could have caused serious injuries.

Protesters say Richmond police used tear gas to disperse ‘unlawful assembly’ near J.E.B Stuart statue

Following the declaration, there were reports of protesters and a student journalist being hit by tear gas while police attempted to break up the crowd - the first time chemical agents have been used since Interim Police Chief Jody Blackwell took over.

Two city councilmembers - Stephanie Lynch and Mike Jones - have called for the “immediate” removal of all the city’s Confederate statues for safety among other reasons.

Another Monument Down

But this time it wasn’t a confederate statue. Over the weekend, the First Virginia Regiment Monument located on the corner of Park Avenue and Stuart Avenue was pulled down.

The Virginia Infantry Statue has been pulled down by protesters.
The Virginia Infantry Statue has been pulled down by protesters. (Source: NBC12)

The statue has been towed away and removed from the scene.

The First Virginia Regiment was an infantry regiment of the Virginia Line that served with the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War - NOT the Civil War.

Closed for Juneteenth

Several area school districts will be closed today, in observance of Juneteenth.

Richmond, Henrico, Hopewell and Goochland will observe the holiday today since this year’s observance fell on a Friday. Because of the closure, Hopewell schools will not have a meal service today. RPS says meal service will continue as scheduled today.

Father’s Day BLM Ride

Hundreds of bike riders came out to support the Black Lives Matter movement in Richmond. The Father’s Day Bike Ride was put together by Urban Cycling Group and Petersburg-native and Grammy-nominated singer Trey Songs - his third day of Juneteenth events in the Richmond area.

Organizers say with everything going on in the world, the ride was a form of protest, therapy and exercise.

Alexandria Gun Ban

The new law takes effect July 1 and bars firearms and ammunition from all city facilities and parks. Alexandria said it is the first city in Virginia to ban firearms under the new law.

Do you think other Virginia cities should follow? Sound off in our Facebook post:

Alexandria's City Council voted unanimously to ban firearms on all public property. Do you think other Virginia cities should follow?

Posted by NBC12 on Sunday, June 21, 2020

Don’t Forget to Vote

Tomorrow is primary day in Virginia. 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.

Tuesday, June 23 is Primary Day in Virginia.
Tuesday, June 23 is Primary Day in Virginia. (Source: NBC12)

Just a reminder, you can vote in either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary - not both.

Voting Absentee?

A record number of absentee ballots were issued to voters in Richmond as citizens were encouraged to vote absentee amid the pandemic. Now, the office of the general registrar wants to facilitate the return of those ballots.

Today, the city will have a “drive-up and drop off” service to return your ballot. It’s from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 9th street side of City Hall. Anyone who votes absentee needs to have their ballots turned in no later than 7 p.m. tomorrow.

Coronavirus Road to Recovery

Virginia might enter phase three of Governor Northam’s reopening plan this Friday - at the earliest. But he could decide to delay it again if the data supports it.

Facial coverings will still be required in all public indoor spaces and on public transportation, and Gov. Northam reminded Virginians that it's essential to not just wear them, but wear them properly.
Facial coverings will still be required in all public indoor spaces and on public transportation, and Gov. Northam reminded Virginians that it's essential to not just wear them, but wear them properly. (Source: NBC12)

What About the Numbers?

The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Nearly half of the states are reporting a rise in new cases and some continue to break records in their daily reported cases. In Virginia, the Department of Health reported 57,994 total positive coronavirus tests throughout the state Sunday - a 1,201 case jump since Friday.

However, the positivity rate, which is supposed to determine the pace of reopening, fell again to 6.8 percent. At the peak of the pandemic, that figure was more than 20 percent.

Get Tested at Kroger

Kroger is offering COVID-19 testing in Glen Allen through Thursday. The testing site is at Richmond Striker Park, off Pouncey Tract Road. It happens from 8 a.m to 1 p.m. - Register first here.

And don’t forget to check out the free testing events being offered by the Richmond/Henrico Health District.

Recall Alert

Before you make lunch today, Publix is recalling a type of bagged salad, because some food allergens are not listed on the label. The affected salad is the Fresh Express, 11.5 ounces, southwest chopped kit.

Publix said some bags could have wheat, soy, cashews and coconut in it, but the label doesn’t disclose that. If you have this salad, take it back to your local store for a refund.

Song Dedicated to Frontline Workers in Virginia

Virginia Beach native and recording artist Pharrell Williams released a new song dedicated to frontline workers in Virginia - called simply “Virginia.”

Williams says the song was made to “acknowledge the resilient Virginian frontline workers and to show the possibilities of what happens when we come together.”

Final Thought

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin

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