A long, strange saga in Virginia has come to an end as felony charges have been dropped against the state’s most senior Black legislator and the police chief responsible for filing them has been fired.
According to NBC News, state Sen. Louise Lucas (D) and 18 other plaintiffs were charged in August by Portsmouth police with conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000. The charges stemmed from a June 10 protest against police brutality and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd. During the protest, a few of the city’s Confederate monuments were defaced and toppled, with police alleging that someone was seriously injured as a result.
Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene, a Black woman, was responsible for filing the charges, saying that Lucas and the others “conspired and organized to destroy the monument as well as summon hundreds of people to join in felonious acts,” during the initial announcement.
From NBC News:
According to the police version of events in a probable cause summary, Lucas was with a group of people who were shaking cans of spray paint, and she told police that they were going to vandalize the statues “and you can’t stop them ... they got a right, go ahead!”
But a dismissal motion filed by the Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney’s Office said there was “no proper evidence” to support the charges that the plaintiffs’ actions “rise to the level of felony destruction of property or conspiracy.” Video from the scene and other digital evidence were also unreliable, according to the motion.
In dismissing the charges Monday, a judge also questioned why police went around local prosecutors to bring charges.
City leaders had initially questioned Greene’s involvement in investigating the Confederate protest because of an unspecified conflict of interest. Local activists and clergy leaders called for her resignation or firing.
So yeah, shit was messy off the jump. It got even messier when a random-ass white dude filed charges against Lisa Lucas-Burke, Lucas’ daughter and vice mayor of Portsmouth, for calling for Greene’s termination. He filed the charges under an obscure city law because he was part of an anti-Lucas Facebook group that wants to remove Lucas from her Senate seat. I guess getting her daughter out of office is the first step toward achieving that goal?
I mean, it’s not like they filed the charges because they’re unrepentant racists who hate to see Black women in power. That would be unthinkable.
White people have a prolonged history of weaponizing the legal system against Black politicians in general Portsmouth for no other reason than their race?
If you thought the messiness was going to end after the charges were dropped, well, nah.
Shortly before the announcement of the charges being dropped, Greene, who had only become police chief in 2019, revealed she had been fired. She gave a news conference on Monday where she held up a copy of her termination letter. “I believe I was wrongfully terminated for upholding the law and being retaliated against for sticking to my sworn oath that I swore to serve and protect my citizens, community and keeping my officers safe,” she said
Greene said she wasn’t given a reason for her termination; she was only read the letter of termination and didn’t receive severance. She said she intends to file a lawsuit against the city to receive her job back. “I believe what would be fair is full reinstatement because I did nothing wrong. That would be fair that would be my first option,” she said at the news conference.
This whole situation has just been messy as fuck, and all over some old ass monuments that only white people whose kink is celebrating racism give a shit about. Imagine losing your job over that? Couldn’t be me.