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Portsmouth Police Chief responds to resignation demands by city leaders

Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 12:53:59-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Police Chief Angela Greene has released a statement after city leaders called for her resignation over arrests stemming from the June 10 Confederate monument protests.

Earlier this week, Chief Greene announced that Sen. L. Louise Lucas and 13 others were charged with felonies by the Portsmouth police department.

Click here to read the felony arrest warrants.

The arrests came after the June 10 protests during which people were seen covering parts of a Confederate monument and the Portsmouth NAACP President and Vice President were arrested in the afternoon for "trespassing."

Later that night 45-year-old Christopher Lawrence Green was severely injured after protesters ripped off parts of the monument on Court Street.

On Wednesday Dr. Rev. Milton Blount demanded for action to be taken. “We are calling on the city manager Dr. Lydia Patton to request the immediate resignation of Chief Angela Greene," he said.

On Thursday Chief Greene released a statement saying:

"This statement is in response to the allegations that the Portsmouth Police Department had a conflict of interest in regards to the incident that occurred at the confederate monument on July 10, 2020.

Before a comprehensive investigation was initiated by my agency, I attempted to have outside law enforcement agencies investigate the incident to ensure no conflict existed. Let me be clear, it was the initial belief that upon the commencement of a full investigation into this criminal matter that a potential conflict involving elected city officials, who were present at the time, may arise. Therefore, other avenues were sought.

And after all efforts were exhausted to have a special grand jury appointed or an outside agency investigate the matter, it was evident that the investigation would be left up to our agency. It then became the sworn duty of the Portsmouth Police Department to begin the comprehensive investigation, until such a time that an actual conflict arose in this matter.

During our investigation, it was determined that although felonious acts were committed by several individuals, no conflicts of interest for this department were revealed.

Therefore, it was incumbent upon this law enforcement agency to take action. As you know, we utilized our traditional method of seeking warrants through the magistrate, once we determined that the Commonwealth Attorney could be called as a potential witness in this case, which precluded her office from receiving and reviewing a complete investigative file in this matter.

I am aware that there are questions as to why my office investigated the destruction of the monument and proceeded with charges against the known offenders. My answer is simple, upon taking my oath of office when being sworn in as a law enforcement officer in the City of Richmond and then upon being sworn in as an Assistant Chief and then Chief of Police for the City of Portsmouth, I vowed to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia; and promised to faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me, to the best of my ability. As the head of the primary law enforcement agency in the City of Portsmouth, it is my obligation to investigate all crimes that have occurred, and when probable cause exists, present that evidence for the prosecution, which is what was done in this matter."