VSP says probe into incident at Portsmouth Confederate monument is still active, although city police chief said it concluded


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia State Police say their investigation into the incident at the Confederate monument on June 10 continues — even though Portsmouth’s police chief announced it concluded more than a month ago.

Portsmouth Chief Angela Greene said during a press conference Aug. 17 that state police concluded an “accident investigation” into the protest at the monument on July 22. They were originally brought in to look into what led up to a man being severely injured when a piece of the historic monument was pulled down on top of him during the June 10 demonstration.

This Monday, Sgt. Michelle Anaya, who speaks for the state police in the Hampton Roads region, contradicted Greene’s statement.

“The incident remains an open investigation. No charges have been filed or arrests made,” Anaya wrote in an email to 10 On Your Side.

Portsmouth Police did not immediately return requests for comment Monday morning about why Greene said something different.

Greene said it was only after July 22 that detectives and supervisors with her department began doing their investigation that led to charges being filed against 14 high-profile community members — including state Sen. L. Louise Lucas, local NAACP leaders and others — in connection with the demonstration.

In a statement Thursday — which responded to an accusation of having a conflict of interest — Greene said the responsibility fell on the Portsmouth Police Department to ensure a “comprehensive investigation” was done. The chief said all efforts “were exhausted” to have a special grand jury appointed or an outside agency investigate.

Separate from the charges against Sen. Lucas and the 13 others, charges were also filed Sunday against Lucas’ daughter, Portsmouth Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke.

Lucas-Burke faces two class 3 misdemeanor charges in the case.

The Portsmouth resident who filed the charges said he believes Lucas-Burke violated a section in the city code when she called for Greene to be fired after Greene charged several community leaders, including Lucas-Burke’s mother.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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