Ousted Virginia Police Chief Angela Greene decried her Monday dismissal from office saying, ‘I am being wrongfully terminated for upholding the law.’
Greene, the chief of the Portsmouth Police Department, was given the boot on Monday moments after criminal charges were dropped against a prominent state senator and several local black leaders who had been accused of conspiring to damage a Confederate statue during a protest earlier this year.
She says that her removal is politically motivated and she plans to file a lawsuit against her dismissal.
‘Unfortunately, right now, I believe I am a highly qualified, educated, competent black woman in a profession that is race-neutral as the chief of police… And right now I am being wrongfully terminated because I upheld the law and my belief that no one is above the law,’ she said Wednesday night on Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson Tonight.
‘I was also punished because I refused to treat criminal behavior by alleged perpetrators based on their race, creed, gender, or political affiliations,’ she added.
Ousted Virginia Police Chief Angela Greene decried her Monday dismissal from office saying, ‘I was fired for upholding the law’ during an interview on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Wednesday
Greene, the chief of the Portsmouth police department, was given the boot on Monday moments after criminal charges were dropped against a prominent state senator and several local black leaders who had been accused of conspiring to damage a Confederate statue during a protest earlier this year
In the case state Sen. Louise Lucas, a high ranking Democrat who is Virginia’s most senior black legislator, and 18 other plaintiffs including members of the local NAACP chapter and a school board member were charged for trying to vandalize the controversial statue during a protest on June 10.
At the Portsmouth protest protesters ripped off the heads of some of the city’s Confederate statues and toppled another one. Police said that fallen statue fell and critically injured a demonstrator.
Portsmouth Police charged Lucas and the 18 other plaintiffs in August with conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000.
When Greene announced the charges she said Lucas and others ‘conspired and organized to destroy the monument as well as summon hundreds of people to join in felonious acts.’
In a probable cause statement police said that Lucas was with people who had cans of spray paint and she told cops they were going to vandalize the statues adding ‘and you can’t stop them… they got a right, go ahead!’
In a motion to dismiss the case filed by the Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, it argued that there was no ‘proper evidence’ to support the charges brought by the police that the plaintiff’s actions ‘rise to the level of felony destruction of property or conspiracy.’
Protests had unfolded in Portsmouth, a predominantly black city, following the police killing of George Floyd in May.
Virginia state Senator Louise L. Lucas, who is Virginia’s most senior Black legislator, was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000 for ripping the head off a Confederate statue. The charges were dropped on Monday
She is seen celebrating alongside her co-defendants who were also cleared
Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales (front) and members of her prosecution team reveal why they dropped the case
Host Carlson noted how the former governor of the commonwealth of Virginia condemned Greene in a statement for issuing warrants for the protest.
‘In Virginia, you’re still allowed to arrest officeholders if they commit felonies, right?’ Carlson asked.
‘That is correct, sir, yes,’ Greene replied.
‘So I guess my question stands. How in the world could you have been fired for this?’ he asked.
‘That is why we are going to pursue legal remedies in this matter,’ she replied.
On Monday during a news conference she said that officials didn’t give her a reason for the firing other than she was an ‘at-will employee.’
‘I will say that I am an at-will employee, but there are recognized exceptions to the at-will employee doctrine and some of those exceptions cannot be terminated for upholding the law or for me refusing to listen to a request to ignore laws,’ she replied to Carlson.
The Confederate Monument in Portsmouth, Virginia (pictured) was built between 1876 and 1881, and is located in the town square
During the protests on June 10, police said they saw protesters with spray cans and that senator Lucas told police to allow them to vandalize the statue, saying they had every right. At the protest in Portsmouth, demonstrators were able to rip off the heads of some of the city’s confederate statues (pictured), and topple another, which police said fell on top of a demonstrator, critically injuring them
A view of protesters trying to tear down Confederate statues in Portsmouth above on June 10
On Monday a city spokeswoman declined to say whether Greene’s firing was a result of the initial charges.
A judge dismissed the charges against the group on Monday and questioned why police brought the charges.
City leaders had also questioned Greene’s involvement in investigating the Confederate statue protest and local activists called for her resignation or firing. At the same time rallies took place in Portsmouth in support of her.
In September Greene took an indefinite leave of absence. She became chief in 2019.
In response to the news, Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe tweeted: ‘Our hero Louise Lucas and her fellow proud Portsmouth citizens deserve our admiration. Grateful this despicable political persecution is over.’