Arrest warrant issued for head of Virginia Senate, 13 others in monument attack that resulted in critical injury
Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas (D), who serves as Senate Pro Tempore, has been charged with felony conspiracy and other charges in an incident where she, along with other conspirators, allegedly damaged a Confederate statue in Portsmouth that also resulted in serious injuries to a protester.
“Sen. Louise Lucas faces charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene said during a news conference,” says Politico.
The protester, Chris Green, was critically injured at the scene and is currently under care at a rehabilitation center with permanent injuries. The incident happened in June.
“Greene said the independent investigation started after several requests were made to look into the circumstances that led to the destruction of the monument and Green’s injury,” reports 13NewsNow.
“It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform,” says Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam via Twitter, “the first Black woman to serve as our Senate Pro Tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges.”
Northam says the charges are political.
Northam is no stranger to racial controversy having appeared in photos in black-face, next to someone dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and hood. He says that controversy was also political.
Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene announced the charges yesterday at a news conference after she completed her investigation.
“As a result of this investigative team’s findings,” says the Portsmouth Police statement, “it was determined that several individuals conspired and organized to destroy the monument as well as summonsed hundreds of people to join in the felonious acts which not only resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the monument, but also permanent injury to an individual.”
Greene announced that 13 others were also being charged with crimes, including several NAACP members, one school board member and three public defenders.
Greene defended her decision saying that Stephanie Morales, the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney, refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Police are still reviewing video so see if they can identify others involved in the conspiracy.
Because of the serious nature of the injuries to Chris Green, the case will likely generate plenty of litigation, for which the city might be held culpable.
Chief Greene appealed to the suspects to turn themselves in rather than waiting for police to go find them.
“Felony charges leveled against a sitting state senator are to be taken seriously, and should not be sought out for political gain,” said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson. “It is for that reason that the Republican Party of Virginia calls for Senator Lucas to turn herself in. Immediately.”
Lucas shouldn’t be too hard to find when she shows up for work at the Virginia Senate. Typically, legislators are not subject to arrest during legislative sessions, unless, as in this case, a felony or other serious crime has been charged.
PHOTO: Steve Helber/AP Photo
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