(Headline USA) The police chief in Portsmouth, Virginia, is on paid leave nearly three weeks after her department charged a state senator and several others with conspiring to damage a Confederate monument.
City spokeswoman Dana Woodson confirmed in an email on Friday that Chief Angela Greene is on leave and that an assistant police chief will assume her duties in the meantime.
The city declined to comment further. No one answered the telephone Friday at a number listed for Greene.
Allies of State Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Richmond, have called the felony charges against her legally weak and political. The case is based on words that police say Lucas spoke in the hours before vandals ripped heads off Confederate statues and pulled one down, critically injuring a demonstrator.
Some legal observers say that Lucas’ alleged statements are protected speech.
The charges were filed without the cooperation of the local prosecutor’s office. And they were issued the day before state lawmakers met to work on police reforms, including ones that Lucas — a high ranking-Democrat — has championed.
Lucas and several others face counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000. Other people who were charged included a school board member as well as members of the local NAACP chapter and public defender’s office.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.