Back on June 10th in Portsmouth, Virginia, a large group of protesters decided to tear down and destroy a Confederate monument located in that city. An investigation was launched, led by Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene. After collecting video from the event and conducting interviews for two months, Greene announced in August that charges were being filed against 19 people who had been involved in the destruction. Police were seeking 13 more people who had yet to be identified. In the process, one of the protesters was severely injured when the statue was pulled down on top of them by his accomplices. That was also being investigated separately.
You might think that would be pretty much the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Among those arrested was State Sen. Louise Lucas, several leaders of the local Black Lives Matter movement, officials from the NAACP, and a member of the local school board. Since several crimes had obviously been committed, you might think that Chief Greene (who is Black, by the way) would be lauded for holding all citizens, regardless of their status accountable. You would be wrong, however. Howls of protest emerged not only from the community but from elected officials. Yesterday the situation came to a head and Chief Greene was unceremoniously fired. (NBC News)
The police chief of Portsmouth, Virginia, was fired Monday in what she suggested was a politically motivated move moments before criminal charges were dropped against a prominent state senator and several local Black leaders accused of conspiring to damage a Confederate statue during a protest this year.
The latest twist in the case involving state Sen. Louise Lucas, a high-ranking Democrat who is Virginia’s most senior Black legislator, drew praise from Democrats who condemned the charges…
The Portsmouth Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment, and a city spokeswoman declined to say whether Greene’s firing was a result of the initial charges.
Greene had charged all of the people involved with felony injury to a monument in excess of $1,000 and conspiracy. She had the perpetrators on video using cans of spray paint and eventually toppling and destroying the statue. She had the social media records showing the state senator encouraging everyone to come down to the location and help them destroy the statue. There was even a video of the state senator telling police officers what they intended to do and saying that the police couldn’t arrest them for it.
In other words, Greene had the perpetrators dead to rights and it should have been an open and shut case. But she was attacked incessantly by Democratic leadership instead. After she was fired for this, those same Democratic leaders, including former Governor Terry McAuliffe celebrated her firing, describing her efforts to enforce the law as “despicable political persecution.”
JUSTICE IN PORTSMOUTH. Our hero Louise Lucas and her fellow proud Portsmouth citizens deserve our admiration. Grateful this despicable political persecution is over. https://t.co/K8dgOqhFU7
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) November 16, 2020
Jay Jones, a member of the legislature and currently a candidate for State Attorney General next year jumped on the bandwagon as well.
The absolute right call. @SenLouiseLucas is a warrior for justice and this situation serves as a reminder of the systemic ills we're working to combat every day.
An empowered Civil Rights Division in the AG's office would stamp out these baseless claims.
— Jay Jones (@jonesjay) November 16, 2020
This entire affair is a disgrace. There are laws on the books regarding the destruction or defacement of monuments. One of the state’s own legislators (who you might think would be familiar with the laws) conspired with dozens of other people to break that law and the whole thing was captured on video. The Chief of Police brought charges against those involved. And now she’s been fired and there are other Democrats in the state government celebrating her termination.
Apparently, the laws only apply when some people agree with them. And charges are filed against the accused unless they are from a politically approved demographic or group. Great job, Virginia. You’re really covering yourselves in glory this week.