PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The images have been broadcast across the country. Protesters in Portsmouth Wednesday night spray-painted much of the Confederate monument and toppled a statue.
When the statue fell, it landed on a man causing serious injuries. Questions have been raised about why the Portsmouth Police Department failed to stop the vandalism. Before nightfall — and the protest that resulted in the injury — Sen. Louise Lucas arrived on the scene where she set ground rules for protesters. The scene was captured on camera and posted to Facebook.
“This [monument property] is city — anybody who pays taxes has the right to be on the property.” That comment, from Lucas, was captured on video and is now under review by Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson.
In the video, the senator’s daughter, Lisa Lucas- Burke, a member of the City Council, then pleads with protesters to give elected officials a chance to bring some calm to the situation in their emergency later that evening. Lucas is reportedly heard offering some choice words about the process.
Anderson posted the video to his social media page.
“Her mother [Sen. Lucas] in the background said ‘The hell with City Council; it’s your right to go on the property,'” said Anderson.
Anderson also alleges that Lucas instructed police to stand down.
“She further told the police, according to an officer I spoke with last night, that the people were going to spray paint and vandalize the statue and they were not to arrest them,” said Anderson.
Anderson accuses Lucas of inciting a riot, which he says is a felony in Virginia.
“And what happened after that– protesters started Facebook livestreaming– telling people ‘Hey you’re not going to get arrested get down here,’ that’s how it turned into — went from a peaceful protest to an unruly mob and eventually turned into a riot,” said Anderson.
Anderson has launched a recall effort on allegations of felony inciting a riot, participating in a riot which is a misdemeanor, and misuse of power
If he can collect 4,700 signatures of verified registered voters from the 18th Senate District, the case will go before a Chesapeake judge. The district stretches from Portsmouth all the way to Brunswick County where Anderson says he will circulate a petition Saturday.
Anderson’s petition is also available at his Virginia Beach law office.
Lucas told 10 On Your Side Anderson is just trying to make a name for himself on unfounded allegations. Lucas says she has weathered recall threats in the past and will do it again.
“Whatever the process is; we are ready for him,” said Lucas.