Portsmouth’s chief of police, Virginia, was fired on Monday, suggesting that it was a politically motivated move before removing criminal charges against a prominent state senator and several local black leaders who protested this year Accused of conspiring to harm a Confederate statue during the demonstration.
The latest twist in the case involving state Sen. Lewis Lucas, a high-ranking Democrat and Virginia’s most senior black legislator, praised Democrats, who condemned the allegations against him and others.
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe tweeted: “Our hero Lewis Lucas and his fellow proud Portsmouth citizens deserve our appreciation. Grateful that this disgusting political persecution is over.”
Lucas’ office could not immediately be reached for comment, but according to The Virginian-Pilot, he said the dismissal of the case “made people hope” “that” when they come to these courts that they are treated fairly and justly Ways to be done even though you may have a rogue police department that wants to criminalize the justice system against people like me. “
The Portsmouth Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment and a city spokeswoman declined to say that the firing of Police Chief Angela Green was the result of preliminary allegations.
Portsmouth Police charged Lucas and 18 other plaintiffs in August, including a school board member and local NAACP chapter member and public protector’s office, for a felony and injury to a memorial worth more than $ 1000 There was a conspiracy.
The June 10 protest in Portsmouth, a multi-black city from Norfolk, came as a protest against national demonstrations to remove racial injustice and other divisive historical figures from public spaces. Police in May of George Black Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, focused on such symbols afresh.
In protest at Portsmouth, protesters cut off the heads of some of the city’s Confederate statues, while another idol was toppled, which police say was severely injured and a protestor.
When Green, who is Black, later announced the allegations, he said that Lucas and others “conspired and organized to destroy the monument and called for hundreds of people to engage in deceptive acts.”
Lucas was particularly with a group of people who were shaking spray paint cans and he told the police that they were going to attack the statues “and you can’t stop them … they got a right, further. Grow !, ”according to police version of events in the probable cause summary.
But a dismissal motion filed by the Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney’s Office found that there was “no reasonable evidence” to support the allegations that the plaintiff’s action “rises to the level of felony destruction of property or conspiracy.” According to the proposal the video from visual and other digital evidence was also unreliable.
In dismissing the charges on Monday, a judge also questioned why police went around local prosecutors to bring charges against the plaintiffs.
City leaders initially questioned Green’s involvement in the investigation of Confederate protests due to an unspecified conflict of interest. Local activists and clergy leaders called for his resignation or firing.
In September, Green, who became Portsmouth Police Chief in 2019, took an indefinite leave of absence from his post. Rallies were also held in support of Green.
On Monday morning, he grabbed a copy of his closing letter during a news conference.
He said, “I believe I was wrongly terminated for upholding the law and taking vengeance for my oath, which I did to serve my citizens, community, and to protect my officers Swore, ”she said.
Green said city leaders did not give her a reason for the shootings, other than that she was a “one-time employee”. He said that he planned to sue the city, and that law enforcement “should be able to protect the community and enforce the law without the intervention of political leaders.”
City spokesperson Dana Woodson confirmed in an email to NBC News that Green had been fired, but said it was a “confidential, personnel matter”.