Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism

Donate

Virginia police chief who brought charges against Confederate monument defacers has been fired

The city of Portsmouth will not specify why Police Chief Angela Greene was fired, citing employee confidentiality laws.

Image
Louise Lucas
Virginia state Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth.
(Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Updated: November 17, 2020 - 9:21am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Virginia police chief who brought felony charges against a state Democratic lawmaker and others for attempting to vandalize a Confederate monument was fired Monday.

Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene suggested afterward that the termination was the result of her bringing the charges against state Sen. Louise Lucas and 17 others, though neither she nor her attorney spoke directly about the June 10 incident. 

"I believe I was wrongfully terminated for upholding the law," she said at a City Hall press conference. "And (I’m) being retaliated against for sticking to my sworn oath that I swore to serve and protect my citizens, community and keeping my officers safe."

Portsmouth officials will not disclose the reason for Greene’s termination, under the protection of a "confidential personnel matter."

Also on Monday, a judge dismissed all charges against those charged in connection with the incident, including Lucas, NAACP leaders, several public defenders and a school board member, according to the Virginian-Pilot

The office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales stated in a court filing that police failed to show any evidence that a felony had been committed, according to The Washington Post.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of June 10, when a group of protesters spray painted the monument, ahead of a protest that night during which the heads of several soldiers on the monument were removed, including one that fell on a man, causing serious injury. 

Greene brought the felony charges in August and was placed on administrative shortly thereafter. She has denied allegations that her investigation of the incident and the charges represented a conflict of interest.

"She is unfortunately the victim of political infighting," Greene’s attorney, Thomas K. Plofchan, Jr., told the newspaper. "She was a neutral employee hired to faithfully execute the laws, and when she did so, political powers-that-be bristled at that."