PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Mayor John Rowe says Portsmouth Police made the correct call not to act as protesters vandalized the downtown Confederate monument Wednesday night.
“Our police department made the right choice – confine the vandalism to this one piece of public property so as to protect the remaining private property and lives,” Rowe said in an official statement Thursday afternoon.
It is Rowe’s belief that police involvement could have created more damage and injuries, as seen in other cities.
“We can repair property; we cannot bring back a life that is lost in these demonstrations,” said Rowe.
One man was seriously injured during the Wednesday night demonstration in Portsmouth. The man, identified as Chris Green, was knocked unconscious when one of the monument’s soldier statues toppled onto him. A GoFundMe has been established to help with medical expenses.
Wednesday night after the protest, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene said she never gave her officers an order to ignore the destruction of the monument.
10 On Your Side reached out to the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, which confirmed Thursday it did not give direction to any police agency regarding enforcement during the destruction of the monument. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Shea Coleman also confirmed their office has not initiated any independent investigations.
Portsmouth City Council has scheduled another special virtual meeting for 5 p.m. on June 11. They plan to stream it live on the city’s website and on Facebook. You can also watch it live right here on WAVY.com.
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