Former Portsmouth Police Chief, new Lexington Police Chief Angela Greene files wrongful termination lawsuit against Portsmouth

Roanoke Valley News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY/WFXR) — Former Portsmouth Police Chief — and the newly-appointed Lexington Police Chief — Angela Greene has officially filed her wrongful termination lawsuit against Portsmouth after she was fired in the wake of the city’s Confederate monument incident.

Greene filed the lawsuit on Friday, April 9. It lists the City of Portsmouth, former City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton, and Acting City Manager Lavoris Pace as defendants.

Greene was fired from the Portsmouth Police Department back in November after the incident at the Confederate monument over the summer, which led to a man being seriously hurt and more than a dozen Black community leaders, including State Sen. Louise Lucas, being charged. The charges were later dropped.

Body camera footage obtained by WFXR’s sister station of the day of the incident showed Lucas telling police that protesters were going to paint the statue, and “[police] can’t arrest them.”

“I’m Senator Louise Lucas,” she said to officers hours before the demonstration later that night that injured the protester, Chris Green. “I know I’m in disguise, but they are going to put some paint on this thing. You can not arrest them. You need to call Dr. Patton, because they are going to do it. You can’t stop them. This is city property.”

Police did not intervene in the demonstration until the protester was injured. Greene said that she never gave an order to police to ignore the destruction of property, but pointed to Lucas’ directions for officers to allow protesters to vandalize the monument.

The next day, Patton sent an email saying no member of City Council nor any elected official gave a directive not to arrest for vandalism, and put the decision solely on Greene.

After Greene filed those charges against Lucas and the other, Pettis Patton, who said Greene shouldn’t have been involved in the investigation, resigned. Former City Attorney Solomon Ashby was also fired, and later filed a $2 million defamation lawsuit against former Mayor John Rowe.

Greene denied she did anything wrong, saying she filed the charges “because laws were broken” and says she believes local politicians shouldn’t interfere with police matters. 

On April 1, Greene was named as the next Police Chief of the City of Lexington, set to replace Interim Police Chief Mike Frost on May 10.

This is a developing story.

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