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Tensions high after judge rules for Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney to prosecute in Confederate monument arrest case

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Portsmouth Confederate monument.jpg
Posted at 10:44 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 16:14:30-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Inside the courtroom things were civil but right after outside emotions were high.

Some of the members of a group of people being called the "Portsmouth 19" had a court hearing Monday morning.

“That was the breaking of the law," said one woman wearing a green 'support Chief Greene' t-shirt.

Another man with the local faith based community says, "we’ve had to live in the fear of what is going to happen to us.”

Some sheriff’s deputies had to step in between members of the Portsmouth-19 and Chief Angela Greene supporters.

“For some reason they think because we support chief Greene that we are racist," said Sherry Myer.

In September Chief Greene was placed on paid administrative leave as investigations continued. On Monday a city official said she will be on leave "until further notice."

Myer says all she wants is law and order. “We don’t see the color of peoples skin, everybody is the same," she adds.

Some members of the Portsmouth 19 tell News 3 that these charges have everything to do with race.

“They are upset that we are getting our day in court," said James Boyd.

Louie Gibbs add, “it’s up to a judge to decide if someone is guilty or not.”

Some of the major takeaways from Monday were that Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales will be the prosecutor for all 19 cases.

Morales' attorney made a statement addressing her role in the court cases saying, "The judge denied the request for a subpoena be issued to Ms. Morales. The judge said that the police department is to transmit its investigative file to Ms. Morales. Ms. Morales will prosecute all of the matters under her constitutional authority as the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney."

He added that Morales has no conflict in these cases and the police department must give her their investigative file. She will review the file by October 30 which is the deadline.

The attorneys present on Monday for the Portsmouth 19 also asked for additional time to gather evidence for the cases.

The cases Morales will prosecute stem from Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene announcing that Portsmouth Sen. Louise Lucas, NAACP members, school board members and public defenders were among several of the warrants issued in relation to a June Confederate monument protest where a man was severely injured.

In September Chief Greene was placed on paid administrative leave as investigations continued. On Monday a city official said she will be on leave "until further notice."

Morales previously told News 3 she never received the complete investigative report from police to determine if charges were appropriate but Chief Greene said Morales did not receive a complete investigative file because she was named as a potential witness, which would create a conflict of interest for the prosecutor's office.

The list of cases that were brought up in court Monday included:

L. Louise Lucas

Charges

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

PRINCIPLE 2ND DEGREE - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

James Boyd

Charges

PRINCIPLE 2ND DEGREE - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Louie Gibbs

Charges

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

PRINCIPLE 2ND DEGREE - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Lakesha Hicks

Charges

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Lakeesha Atkinson

Charges

PRINCIPLE 2ND DEGREE - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Kimberly Wimbush

Charges

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Dana Worthington

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Amira Bethea

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

CONSPIRACY - DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Brenda Spry

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Alexandra Stephens

PT GD

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Merdith Cramer

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Hanah Renae Rivera

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Raymond J. Brothers

Charges

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Harmony Y. Harris

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Lauren Patrise Jones

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000

Hannah Cuevas

Charges

DESTRUCT PROP W/INTENT >=$1000