In the wake of two high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men in July, a Black Lives Matter protest took to the streets of Richmond, Virginia.
On July 18, thirteen of the protesters blocked Interstate 95, and within an hour, the police had arrested the protestors.
“Black Lives Matter!” the protesters chanted, reports The Daily Caller. “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” they continued.
Now, a Richmond District Court has sentenced the thirteen activists to serve five days in jail for their actions.
“It was rush hour,” Davis Powell, the Richmond Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, said, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “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.”
The protesters pleaded guilty to impeding traffic, notes WTVR.
“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,” Powell added, according to the Times-Dispatch.
One of the women sentenced will be allowed to postpone her jail time until sometime in December due to upcoming college exams, while sheriff's deputies immediately escorted others to begin serving their sentence.
The Richmond protestors’ closure of Interstate 95 was not the only highway closure enacted during the nationwide demonstrations.
In Los Angeles, California, Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto the 405 freeway around 10:30 p.on July 10, causing a halt in traffic for at least 10 minutes, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“There has been no reason for interference by us,” Inglewood Police Lt. Gregory Held said. “It’s all been peaceful.”
In Atlanta, some 2,000 protesters engaged in an hours-long standoff with local police at the base of a highway onramp.
“We’re respecting their [First] Amendment rights,” Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said. “We’re the home of Dr. Martin Luther King. The only thing I ask is that they not take the freeways. Dr. King would never take a freeway.”