RICHMOND, Va. - Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) reported to the General Assembly Special Session on Tuesday a day after she was charged with two felonies.
"I will be vindicated," she told reporters as she walked into the session about an hour after it began.
Portsmouth Police charged Lucas with two felonies on Monday because they say she was involved in the destruction at the city's Confederate Monument in June.
Tuesday evening, Lucas' attorney told News 3 she turned herself in Tuesday in Richmond and was released on personal recognizance bond.
Outside of the session, her colleagues came to her defense. "I think the timing of all of that is a bit suspicious," said Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).
"I think those charges are outrageous. I think they're politically motivated and I've expressed my support for Sen. Lucas," said Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
On Tuesday the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP released a statement saying:
"The Virginia State Conference of the NAACP is deeply troubled by the announcement by Portsmouth City Police Chief Angela Greene of felony warrants against State Senator Louise L. Lucas, public defenders and community leaders. Portsmouth deserves a Police Chief and leadership who are committed to serving, protecting and respecting all members of the community. The VSC of the NAACP will closely monitor these cases as they go forward.
The VSC of the NAACP is advocating for police reform, accountability, and transparency. The actions of the Portsmouth City Police Department further the necessity of meaningful reform. These charges demonstrate the latest pattern of injustice which shows that African Americans arear t subjected to a totally different justice system."
The Republican Party of Virginia has called on Lucas to turn herself in, but local Republicans stayed quiet. "In my other life, I am a criminal defense attorney. I don’t try my own cases in the media and I’m certainly not going to be presumptuous to say anything about her case," said Sen. Tommy Norment (R-James City County).
With a lot on the agenda and now a lawmaker facing charges, this session will be closely watched. "I'm looking forward to engaging in some substantial change," said Fairfax.