Alexandria, VA

With photos, signs, artwork and letters, the City of Alexandria is documenting Alexandria’s response to the death of George Floyd.

The Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) and the Alexandria Black History Museum have been collecting artifacts for months and are asking for photos from the public.

“George Floyd’s life mattered,” wrote Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum. “His life story matters. His murder matters. He became part of a horrible trinity on May 25th when his killing came shortly after the murders of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. This trinity is just the most recent example of America’s horrible legacy of racial terror deaths.”

Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25, and the event sparked outrage throughout the country, including in Alexandria. Portions of the city were shut down during the summer for protests and vigils, and the event even turned the spotlight on the Alexandria Police Department.

Due to the pandemic, donated objects will not be accepted until city museums reopen, according to OHA.

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It’s the end of a busy week in Alexandria!

Our top story was the Del Ray car crash on Mount Vernon Avenue, and there’s some good news to report. The driver, who crashed her car due to a medical emergency, was sent home without any injuries the following day.

The city also experienced flooding after Thursday’s rainstorms, prompting the City Council to get an oral report on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stormwater management improvements. As reported, there have been more than a half dozen flood events in Alexandria this summer.

Council also received a report on the establishment of a community police review board, and sent it back for some additions. Namely, Council asked staff to include an option that would give the review board independent investigative authority, an action that prompted a police union to call the idea of the review board “superfluous.” Incidentally, crime stories are among the top articles read every week on ALXnow.

This was also the first week of the historic 2020-2021 school year, and with classes starting virtually it will be an altogether different experience than years past.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Driver Suffers Life Threatening Injuries in Del Ray Car Crash
  2. UPDATED: Flooding Reported in Parts of City After Heavy Rain
  3. Planning Commission Approves Density Compromise Despite Outrage from Civic Associations
  4. Video: Protestors Perform ‘Die-In’ Outside Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf’s Alexandria Home
  5. Arrest Made After Shots Fired in Old Town
  6. Police Investigating Public Indecency Incidents in Del Ray
  7. Police: Three Alexandria ABC Stores Broken Into, High-End Liquor Stolen
  8. Council to Vote on Requiring Face Masks in Alexandria
  9. Just Listed in Alexandria
  10. Hundreds in ‘Trumptilla’ Boat Parade Sail Past Alexandria
  11. Alexandria Woman Uninjured in Tuesday Carjacking at Gunpoint in Potomac Yard

Have a safe weekend!

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For the fourth time this summer, protestors demonstrated outside the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.

For the first time, however, the protestors participated in a “die-in” on the sidewalk and in the street, and said that they hope to drive Wolf and his family away from living in the city. The protestors pretended that they were dead for several minutes.

“This is a friendly, loving community. My husband and I chose it in 1990 for a reason,” said a protestor. “I don’t care what this man’s children find out about him. He deserves to be questioned by all of us.”

The protestors meet every other Sunday in front of Wolf’s North Ridge home. The first protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and the others have been organized by Alexandria residents.

“If somebody says ‘Why are these people here?’ The answer is read the Constitution,” a protestor said. “Article I of the Bill of Rights says that the people are guaranteed the right to gather peaceably, and to seek redress from the government for our grievances. That’s what we’re doing here. We’re peaceful. We’re stating what we think is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s in front of his house, if he’s out to dinner or at his office. Wherever he is, he is a representative of the government and we have a right to gather peacefully, and expect to address those grievances. It’s very simple.”

The protestors demanded that the federal government end family separation and immigration detention practices and the suppression of protests around the country with federal troops.

“For me personally, making him uncomfortable is part of the whole plan,” a protestor said. “The migrant families who are separated at the border, the kids who are in cages, these are unscrupulous actions. He needs to think what about what his children will hear about him. He needs to think how his neighbors are perceiving him and he needs to know what it is to be made uncomfortable.”

Last month, chalk graffiti was also sprayed on the street near Wolf’s home.

Video by Taylor Brown

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(Update 12:00 p.m.) The graffiti, which was intended to be sprayed in front of Wolf’s home, was sprayed in front of the wrong house. It was at the same house number in the North Ridge neighborhood, but wrong street, according to city officials.

Spray chalk graffiti was discovered late Thursday night in front of the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

Since last month, protestors have demonstrated in front of Wolf’s home in the city’s North Ridge community.

“5,400 children tortured by Chad the Wolf,” the message read.

Alexandria Police spokesman Lt. Courtney Ballantine said that there is a police report, and that since the chalk was sprayed on public property and washes off there was no destruction of property, but the incident could be considered vandalism. It is being removed by city officials, he said.

In 2018, protestors angry about family separations and arrests at the border also demonstrated outside the Old Town home of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Courtesy image

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After eight straight days of walking on foot from Charlottesville to Washington D.C., a small group of faith leaders and their followers stopped just short of their pilgrimage in Alexandria to talk about their journey and the need for a racial reckoning in the country.

Audrey Davis, executive director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, welcomed the audience and told them of the city’s history with slavery and inequality.

“We really have so much African American history and so much social justice history,” Davis said. “We have two slave pens, and we were sort of ground zero for the domestic straight slave trade for importing slaves into the deep south.”

The group of about 20 walkers with Faith in Action, the Congregation Action Network and DC Unity & Justice Fellowship were escorted by police along U.S. Highway 29, which is still called Lee Highway in Fairfax County after Confederate General Robert E. Lee. As they marched, they repeated the names of Black victims who have been shot or killed at the hands of the police, including Brianna Taylor and George Floyd. They also had a new name to recite during their march —  Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times by police in Wisconsin on Sunday.

“The walk is about racial reckoning, resolve and love,” said Pastor Troy Jackson of the Ohio-based religious advocacy group Sojourners. “We’re here embodying our faith. I think that the political parties are all broken, and that what we are doing is appealing to a higher calling in people’s hearts.”

Rev. Walter Clark, assistant minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, said that society needs to atone for unfair practices against Black Americans.

“There are 400 years of hatred and sin to undo and we gather because we know that none of us can do it alone,” Clark said. “Let us go forth and begin the work of atonement together.”

The march will end tomorrow at Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.

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More than a dozen protestors on Sunday demonstrated for the third time in less than a month in front of the North Ridge home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

The protestors demanded that the federal government end family separation and immigration detention practices and the deployment of federal troops around the country to quell protests.

“We are not going to let him get away with just sitting here comfortably living without shame,” shouted an unidentified protestor. “He is evil, and we are letting his neighbors know. We are telling him, and his own children will know what he does to other children.”

Wolf appeared on CNN on Sunday and told Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that DHS does not have the authority to carry out the president’s orders to counter voter fraud with the deployment of federal officers in November.

Another protestor who would not be identified said that the protests will continue every other Sunday.

“I want us to keep interrupting and upsetting the calm of people who think that they can check out their jobs on the weekend, while everyone who suffers from the consequences of those jobs don’t get any relief,” the protestor said.

The first protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and the others have been organized by Alexandria residents.

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These summer weeks are flying by, and another one is in the books in Alexandria.

This week, readers responded to a number of issues in the city, including the tragic story behind the city’s first murder, crime in Arlandria and another protest outside of the acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s home.

There was some fun news, too, like the official announcement that drive-in movies will make their way to the city at the end of the month, and that Holy Cow Del Ray made a new burger of the moment, “The Alexandria HS,” in an effort to add its two cents in a community discussion on what to rename T.C. Williams High School.

What stories impacted you this week? Let us know in the comments.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. BREAKING: Murder Suspect Was Released After COVID-19 Court Delay, Allegedly Kills Former Girlfriend Before Trial
  2. Friends and Neighbors Seek to Name Alley After Retired Judge Nolan Dawkins
  3. Man Arrested for Attempted Rape Behind Arlandria 7-Eleven
  4. Drive-In Movies Coming to Alexandria on August 29
  5. Protestors Promise to Keep Demonstrating at Acting DHS Secretary’s Alexandria Home
  6. Alexandria Summer Camp Closed Early Due to Coronavirus Exposure
  7. BREAKING: Alexandria Police Ask for Public Help in Finding Man Wanted for Murder
  8. Here’s the Latest on Development Projects on Beauregard Street in the West End
  9. Another Protest Planned This Weekend Outside DHS Secretary’s Home
  10. West End Development Returns to City with Scaled Down Density and More Open Space
  11. Alexandria’s COVID-19 Death Count at 60, Hospital Concerned About Rising Cases
  12. Holy Cow Del Ray Wades Into Another Local Controversy With Another Burger

Have a safe weekend!

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Dozens of protestors once again demonstrated outside the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday, vowing to keep up the pressure with future demonstrations.

“The narrative in this country says that we are violent rioters, and we are not,” a protest leader said. “We are peaceful protesters and the violence is coming to us at the hands of the state, at the hands of mercenaries under the employ of DHS. We call them federal agents. They are contractors. These are privately employed people who don’t have accountable training.”

Two weeks ago, a group gathered outside Wolf’s North Ridge home and demanded that he take federal troops from U.S. cities experiencing unrest in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. That protest was organized by Shut Down DC, and this Sunday’s was organized by local Alexandria residents.

“We don’t have commanders in chief that we can talk to at a lower level than the very top,” a protestor said. “That’s why we’re outside Chad Wolf’s house. If we knew a bunch of other houses we could go to, we’d be there, too.”

Protestors demonstrated against the constitutionality of Operation Legend, where federal resources have been deployed to quell unrest in cities throughout the country. Once again, Wolf’s next door neighbors provided food and refreshments for protestors.

Wolf is the second DHS secretary to have protestors outside his Alexandria home. In 2018, protestors angry about family separations and arrests at the border collected outside the Old Town home of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“I don’t think at this point that Chad Wolf really deserves to be comfortable,” a protest organizer told ALXnow. “We want to let him know that people are watching, that we haven’t forgotten. Over time, this behavior starts to be normalized. This is not normal, and it’s very possible that we’re going to be protesting here every other weekend.”

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It was a busy week in Alexandria.

Alexandria Police apprehended the suspect in the city’s only murder this year, and he is currently in the hospital suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Additionally, violent crime events are happening throughout the city, and in the Parker Gray neighborhood of Old Town and in the West End in particular. This week saw the fourth shooting in Old Town in less than a month.

The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb, as well, and the president of Inova Alexandria Hospital discussed some of her concerns in the days ahead.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. BREAKING: Alexandria Police Ask for Public Help in Finding Man Wanted for Murder
  2. Alexandria’s COVID-19 Death Count at 60, Hospital Concerned About Rising Cases
  3. BREAKING: Police Investigating Homicide in West End Residential Community
  4. BREAKING: Murder Suspect Was Released After COVID-19 Court Delay, Allegedly Kills Former Girlfriend Before Trial
  5. Alexandria Police Chief Criticized by Staff Over Officer Fired for Unjustified Use of Force
  6. Activists Protest at Alexandria Home of Acting DHS Chief Chad Wolf
  7. Police Investigate Fourth Shots Fired Call in Old Town in Less Than a Month
  8. ACPS to Cut Down 150-Year-Old Tree This Month to Make Way for Concession Stand
  9. Man Injured in Violent Carjacking in Old Town
  10. BREAKING: ACPS Announces Online-Only School in the Fall
  11. West End Silver Diner Opens Next Week but Harris Teeter Won’t Open Until Next Year

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via Alexandria Police Department

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Alexandria activists are planning another protest at the home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf this Sunday.

In an email, activists said to meet at the intersection of Preston Road and Valley Drive on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. for a rally outside the acting secretary’s home along the northern border between Arlington and Alexandria. The protest is planned to oppose Operation Legend, ICE abuses, and DACA restrictions and organizers asked participants to wear masks, bring signs and water.

An earlier protest two weeks ago drew crowds of activists, including City Councilman John Chapman, carrying signs and voicing opposition to Wolf and President Donald Trump.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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It was another busy week in Alexandria.

Our readers overwhelmingly responded to Sunday’s protest at the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, and the story has more than 380 comments. This week also saw its first homicide, which occurred in the West End, in addition to a number of crime events in the Braddock area.

Not included in our weekly list is late-breaking news on Friday that Alexandria City Public Schools want a virtual-only school year starting in September. Residents have been waiting throughout the summer for the school system to make up its mind, and ACPS has conducted numerous virtual chats with students, parents and staff over the last several weeks.

Here are our top stories this week in Alexandria.

  1. Activists Protest at Alexandria Home of Acting DHS Chief Chad Wolf
  2. BREAKING: Police Investigating Homicide in West End Residential Community
  3. Former APD Officer Peter Laboy Gets His Driver’s License Seven Years After Being Shot in the Head
  4. Just Listed in Alexandria
  5. Students and Residents Putting Daily Cover Over T.C. Williams High School Name
  6. BREAKING: Flooding Reported in Parts of City, AFD Responding to Multiple Emergency Calls
  7. Shots Fired Tuesday Night in Braddock Neighborhood
  8. Alexandria Delegate Wants City to Fire Officials or Police Who Espouse QAnon Theories
  9. Save the Tree Petition at T.C. Williams High School Garners Nearly 1,000 Signatures
  10. Man Injured in Violent Carjacking in Old Town
  11. COVID-19 Update: Deaths at 57, Case Count at 2,735 in Alexandria

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Dozens of protestors demonstrated outside the Alexandria home of acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday, and called for him to end actions against protestors throughout the country by federal agents.

“We live among the people who are wreaking havoc on this country,” one protestor said. “He goes out and commits these atrocities every day. He’s not elected. He’s not Senate confirmed. He is an acting appointee of Donald Trump… We will not be good Germans. We will not be the people who sat by and watched our neighbors commit these atrocities.”

Alexandria has had a number of peaceful protests since the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, however other protests, such as in Portland, Oregon, are currently being suppressed by federal agents at the direction of Wolf, who appeared on Fox News on Sunday defending the deployments.

A majority of the protestors wore masks, and only City Councilman John Taylor Chapman was an identifiable public figure who attended the event. He recorded it on his phone and did not provide a comment. Wolf’s next-door neighbors provided water and snacks for protestors and said that he is otherwise a nice neighbor who does not talk about work.

Jonathan Krall, executive director of Grassroots Alexandria, said that Wolf is at the center of a fearful endeavor for the country.

“He is sending people out to behave like secret police,” Krall said. “He’s attempting to change the standard by which our police behave in the country. Here in Alexandria, we’re fighting for police data transparency. We need police be more transparent in all all levels, and he’s (Wolf is) doing the opposite. The people being picked up without documentation, without any record of why they’re being arrested completely destroys accountability, and you need accountability in policing.”

It was not the first time protestors have appeared outside the home of a DHS Secretary. In 2018, protestors angry about family separations and arrests at the border collected outside the Old Town home of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Proud to protest outside the home of Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of DHS and Trump puppet. We must end Trump's use of…

Posted by Paul Alan Friedman on Sunday, July 26, 2020

Staff photos by James Cullum

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