Virginia State Senator Turns Herself in to Face Charges Over Statue Toppling Incident

August 19, 2020 Updated: August 19, 2020

Virginia state Sen. Louise Lucas turned herself in on Tuesday to the sheriff’s office after she was charged in connection to the dismantling of a Confederate statue that left a man seriously injured in June in the midst of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and riots.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Marvin Waters told CNN that Lucas was released on a personal recognizance bond on Tuesday afternoon, which means that she did not have to post bail. She’s facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000.

In a comment to news outlets, Lucas yelled: “I will be vindicated,” according to WAVY-TV.

More than a dozen people were charged as a result of the incident at a Confederate monument. Police said that attempt to take down the statue led to a man suffering a “permanent injury” that was “life-threatening.”

A local NAACP official, a school board member, and three public defenders were charged in connection to the incident, according to police in a previous statement.

Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene said Monday during a news conference: “What is important to note is that of all the incidents that occurred across our nation, our incident was the only incident that resulted in a man being gravely injured.”

“So it is my hope that my community truly understands that at no point did any member of the Portsmouth Police Department condone the felonious acts that occurred on June 10,” Greene added, as reported by WAVY-TV.

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The statues on the Confederate monument are covered in graffiti and beheaded after a protest in Portsmouth, Va., on June 10, 2020. (Kristen Zeis/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
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A police tape marks off a fallen statue from the Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Va., on June 10, 2020. (Kristen Zeis/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

The local attorney’s office said in a statement on Tuesday explaining that a “police officer swearing information, under oath, to a magistrate to obtain warrants is the traditional process frequently utilized by the Portsmouth Police within the Portsmouth Police Department.”

Greene said that “individuals conspired and organized to destroy the monument as well as summon hundreds of people to join in felonious acts,” Politico reported. The acts “not only resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the monument, but also permanent injury to an individual,” she said.

The office noted that it has not received any investigative results from the local police office.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam criticized the police’s decision on Twitter.

“It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform, the first Black woman to serve as our Senate Pro Tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges,” he wrote on Aug. 17.

Lucas was described by WAVY-TV as a key power broker in Virginia’s state Senate, joining the chamber nearly 30 years ago. The charges were filed as lawmakers were set to vote and debate on criminal justice reforms in the state legislature.