PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Portsmouth Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement in support of the city’s recently fired police chief.
Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene was fired on Monday by Acting City Manager LaVoris Pace. Her firing came after she was put on administrative leave in September, following a June protest during which a downtown confederate monument was vandalized, and a protester was seriously injured.
Greene came under scrutiny in August after the Portsmouth Police Department charged Sen. Louise Lucas and several other local Black leaders with felonies in connection to the destruction of the monument. The charges against Lucas and the others — dubbed the “Portsmouth 19” — were dismissed on Monday, the same day Greene was fired.
“Chief Greene was terminated as Chief of Police for doing her sworn duty by upholding the laws that she and her officers witnessed being broken,” FOP President Ron White wrote in the statement, which is dated Thursday, Nov. 19.
White wrote that the FOP believes Greene’s firing was “unbelievable and unjust.” He said that the FOP is “extremely disappointed in the lack of responsible leadership and poor decision making” by Pace and the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Led by Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales, the office asked for the charges against Lucas and the other Black leaders to be dismissed on Monday.
The police department advocated for Morales to be removed from the case, arguing that she was a witness to the events that unfolded at the monument in June. A judge ruled that Morales was not a witness in October, allowing her office to handle the case in Portsmouth General District Court.
“The political ‘machine’ running the city of Portsmouth doesn’t seem to care about the police department, it’s officers or the impact on the safety of the citizens of Portsmouth,” White wrote. “No one was held responsible for committing a crime which resulted in destructive property damage and a citizen being severely injured.”
10 On Your Side reached out to White for comment, but did not get a response by the time of publication.
In response to a request for comment from the City of Portsmouth, a spokesperson stated, “This is a confidential personnel matter of the City of Portsmouth on which we will not provide comment.”
Morales’ office also issued a statement in response to the FOP letter.
“The Portsmouth Commonweath’s Attorney’s Office answers only to the people of this city. It does not answer to any special interest groups. Our office remains committed to protecting the rights of our community members at every turn. In the instant cases, our office committed itself to pursuing fairness, equity, and procedural justice in accordance with our ethical obligations and we will continue to do so in each and every matter we are tasked with handling.”
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