Virginia state senator charged with 2 felonies for incident at destruction of Confederate monument


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia state senator has been charged with two felonies for actions at a Confederate monument that was destroyed on June 10 in the city of Portsmouth.

State Sen. Louise Lucas, among others, faces charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000. Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene announced the charges during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Portsmouth officials held the briefing Monday afternoon to announce that warrants have been secured against several individuals more than two months after an incident at the city’s monument.

Greene issued a statement but did not take any questions as the investigation is ongoing, city officials said.

On June 10, the Confederate monument was vandalized and broken apart by protesters, which culminated with a protester being seriously injured when part of the statue fell on him.

Since then, a team of investigators compiled evidence, including video, from that day.

As a result of the investigation, detectives determined that several people committed felonies. Along with Lucas, warrants were taken out against Portsmouth School Board member LaKeesha S. “Klu” Atkinson, members of the NAACP and members of the public defender’s office.

The full list of those facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000:

  • State Sen. L Louise Lucas
  • James Boyd, Portsmouth NAACP representative
  • Louie Gibbs, Portsmouth NAACP representative
  • LaKesha Hicks, Portsmouth NAACP representative
  • LaKeesha S. “Klu” Atkinson, Portsmouth School Board member
  • Kimberly Wimbish
  • Dana Worthington
  • Amira Bethea

Those facing a felony charge of injury to a monument in excess of $1,000:

  • Brenda Spry, public defender
  • Alexandra Stephens, public defender
  • Meredith Kramer, public defender
  • Brandon Woodard
  • Hannah Ren Rivera
  • Raymond J Brothers

Police are also asking anyone who recorded video during the incident to please share the footage with the department.

WAVY reached out to Sen. Lucas Monday but did not receive an answer. Her attorney Don Scott said he was just hearing about the charges.

WAVY also reached out to Stephanie Morales, the state’s attorney, to ask about her office not being involved in the process, as the police department went straight to the magistrate.

Police body camera video obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows Lucas telling officers they can’t stop the protesters. “I’m telling you, you can’t arrest them. Call Dr. Patton,” Lucas is heard saying on the video recording.

Days after the incident, a local attorney started a petition to recall Lucas. She, in turn, filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against the attorney, Tim Anderson. Lucas has claimed all along that she did nothing wrong.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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