A Portsmouth, Virginia, police sergeant ― who charged a Black state senator, local civil rights leaders and city public defenders with crimes under his theory they participated in a conspiracy to “injure” statues glorifying Confederate soldiers who fought for slavery ― was the subject of an internal investigation for an email he sent to city officials that blasted the rhetoric and actions of those he would later accuse of committing felonies, HuffPost has learned.

Sgt. Kevin McGee, according to several sources, was also a prominent opponent of former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman. Chapman, Virginia’s first Black female police chief, was forced out last year, which she said was a result of her confronting “racial tensions” from within the majority Black city’s mostly white police force and facing down a police union she said didn’t like her because she wasn’t a white man.

Current Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene, also a Black woman, has gathered support from a predominately white group of Portsmouth residents, particularly after her department took advantage of Virginia’s magistrate system and bypassed Portsmouth’s Black elected prosecutor to charge Sen. Louise Lucas (D), local NAACP leaders and Portsmouth public defenders with taking part in a conspiracy to cause “injury to” a Confederate monument. The little-known “injury” law previously referred to the Civil War as the “War Between the States,” a preferred term of Confederate sympathizers.