It turns out that Blocking Traffic Matters too.
Black Lives Matter protesters will soon be seeing the inside of a jail cell after they refused to disperse and blocked a highway during a protest over the summer.
The protest – in Richmond during July – was part of a long line of race-related protests. This one occurred On the 18th and was set off by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier that month.
In the incident, 13 protesters blocked Interstate 95 and chanted “Black Lives Matter!” “No Justice, No Peace! No Racist Police!” They managed to shut down traffic during rush hour. It didn’t last long though – about an hour, as police showed up and rounded them all up, The Daily Caller is reporting.
They all plead guilty to illegally blocking traffic Monday and were all sentenced to five days in jail.
Interestingly, only one of the protesters is actually from Richmond. Six were from different cities in the state and six were from different states altogether – as far away as New York, Pennsylvania and California. This confirms the long-held belief that there are roving groups of people who travel the country as “professional protesters” seeking to cause conflict and agitate wherever and whenever possible.
“It was rush hour. They put themselves in danger, and they put other people potentially in danger, so we thought that five days in jail was an appropriate punishment,” said Davis Powell, a prosecutor for the cases, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
One by one, the 13 defendants went before Judge Jacqueline S. McClenney and pleaded guilty to obstructing free passage of others. The plea agreement, accepted by all of the defendants, stipulated that each of them would be sentenced to five days in jail and that the count of being pedestrians on a highway would be nolle prossed, or not pursued.
“We were ready to prosecute them to the fullest extent had they not accepted the (plea) offer, and it was a Class 1 misdemeanor they were charged with,” said Powell, noting that he thought five days in jail was a fair resolution, considering that the defendants generally had few prior run-ins with the law.
Those convicted and sentenced to five days in jail are:
- Anthony D. Beck, 24, of Weed, Calif.;
- Nina B. Cohen, 49, of State College, Pa.;
- Donna L. Gasapo, 42, of Charlottesville;
- Julia Griffin, 21, of Sparks Glencoe, Md.;
- Angelica S. Demarco Jaffe, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y.;
- Katherine M. Martin, 30, of Alpharetta, Ga.;
- Sapphyre K. Miria, 37, of Buchanan;
- Luis A. Oyola, 26, of Charlottesville;
- Frances Richards, 61, of Charlottesville;
- Brandon J. Taylor, 21, of Hampton, N.J.;
- Evan S. Viglietta, 39, of Charlottesville;
- Ryan L. Whitcomb, 27, of Charlottesville; and
- Whitney Renee Whiting, 32, of Richmond.
Interestingly, looking at the images of the 13 arrested, it would appear that no more than one or two were actually black.