Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene
FPI / November 20, 2020
A Virginia police chief who announced felony charges against rioters who toppled Confederate monuments was fired moments after a judge on Monday dismissed the charges.
In mid-August, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene announced felony charges against 14 people, including state Sen. Louise Lucas, NAACP leaders, several public defenders and a school board member. All were charged with felony injury to a monument, and eight also faced a conspiracy charge. A judge dismissed all charges on Monday morning. The city then fired Greene.
Greene said she plans to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city.
“I believe I was wrongfully terminated for upholding the law," Greene said in a Facebook Live feed of a press conference broadcast by WAVY-TV, “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.”
In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, Green said: "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."
Lucas, a high ranking Democrat who is Virginia's most senior black legislator, and the others were charged for trying to vandalize Confederate statues in Portsmouth during a protest on June 10.
Rioters 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.
Lucas and the other plaintiffs were charged 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."
Greene told Carlson on Wednesday: "I was also punished because I refused to treat criminal behavior by alleged perpetrators based on their race, creed, gender, or political affiliations."
Carlson noted how the former governor Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, condemned Greene in a statement for issuing warrants against the rioters.
"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?" Carlson asked.
"That is why we are going to pursue legal remedies in this matter," Greene replied.
During a Monday news conference Greene 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," Greene told Carlson.
Greene’s attorney, Thomas K. Plofchan, Jr., said Greene “is unfortunately the victim of political infighting. She was a neutral employee hired to faithfully execute the laws, and when she did so, political powers that be bristled at that.”
Free Press International