Richmond protesters reclaim City Hall, Virginia holds congressional primaries, Liberty football players leave university, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Protesters in Richmond, which saw its 25th consecutive day of demonstrations, refused an order to quit the state-controlled area around the Lee Monument and set up what they called “Reclamation Square” at City Hall. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Also in Richmond, home to the state’s largest collection of Confederate statuary, Mayor Levar Stoney said he will seek to remove the statues immediately, despite the fact that the law that gives localities the ability to do so doesn’t take effect till July 1. “If I had Superman strength and could go and arrive at Monument Avenue and remove them by myself and get slapped with a class 6 felony, I would have done that yesterday.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Norfolk pressed ahead with removing its Confederate statue early, but city leaders haven’t decided what to do with the empty pedestal that stands now. — The Virginian-Pilot

• Amid a court battle, Rita Davis, the lawyer for Gov. Ralph Northam who devised the legal strategy for taking down the Lee Monument, is confident in the governor’s authority to act. “I want this statue to come down,” she said, “but I want it to come down because there is a consensus in Virginia saying that that’s not who we are anymore.” — The Washington Post

• There are primaries across the state today for Congressional offices. Here’s a primer. — The Virginian-Pilot

• “A pair of sophomore defensive backs on the Liberty University football team announced Monday they are entering the transfer portal and leaving the Flames program because of ‘racial insensitivity’ and cultural incompetence ‘in the leadership of the university.’” — The News & Advance

• A look and a listen with the Republicans trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. —VPM

• A Roanoke delegate is pushing for a legal opinion that would require police to release footage of officer-involved deaths to “surviving relatives once an investigation is closed.” — The Roanoke Times

• Protestors in Richmond have taken up the “defund the police” mantra. They explain how they believe it could be put into practice. —VPM

• Arlington County officials are doing some “internal soul searching” after workers washed away a girl’s Black Lives Matter chalk art on Juneteenth. — ARLnow

• Protesters gathered outside a DMV in Chatham after a Black customer said the office manager made a racist comment. The manager denies it, saying “I lost my livelihood over a lie.” — Danville Register & Bee

• A Rappahannock County prosecutor is contrite about saying he had “total hatred” for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam over his push to remove Confederate monuments and that Northam was “being dragged around by the pubic hair by the commie left of his party.” — WTOP

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