By Steve Pomper
It seems like hyperbole to say there are political leaders who endorse lawlessness, as long as the crimes allowed conform to those leaders’ political beliefs. But these days, it’s not an exaggeration; it’s accurate. There was more evidence of this coming out of Portsmouth, VA., where city leaders just fired their police chief for enforcing the law—against the wrong politician.
It seems, as written by John Brodigan, at LouderwithCrowder.com, “Vandalism and destruction of private property are against the law. How much against the law it is, depends on the municipality. But we can all agree, it’s illegal.” Well, maybe not “all.” At least, not for the political leaders in Portsmouth, Virginia.
NBC News reported, Angela Greene, “The police chief of Portsmouth, Virginia, was fired Monday in what she suggested was a politically motivated move moments before criminal charges were dropped against a prominent state senator and several local Black [sic] leaders accused of conspiring to damage a Confederate statue during a protest this year.”
NBC News describes Sen. Louise Lucas as, “a high-ranking Democrat who is Virginia’s most senior Black [sic] legislator….” NBC also writes that members of her party condemned the charges and praised her as a “warrior for justice.” Again, there are some politicians who, it seems, will forgive any crime committed by people who toes their political line.
Along with state Sen. Lucas, police requested charges for 18 other suspects for “conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000.” Others charged included a member of the school board, staff from the public defender’s office, and NAACP chapter members. Just as some politicians seem to believe they are no longer allowed to lose elections some also apparently believe they are also not allowed to be prosecuted for the crimes they allegedly commit.
And having the charges dropped is not enough. No, they needed a proverbial head on a platter to prevent anyone from ever even thinking of charging certain people with crimes when they break the law—if it’s for a good reason—their politically approved reason. Well, that severed head belongs to Chief of Police Angela Greene.
Her crime was to call suspected criminals on their alleged crimes. She says, “I did nothing wrong.” She’s right. Defacing or destroying public property, even Confederate statues, is a crime. The monetary value in this case makes it a felony crime. Chief Greene swore an oath to uphold and enforce the law—just as Sen. Lucas did to obey the law.
Chief Greene appeared on (skip to 32:42 min.) Tucker Carlson Tonight on FOX News. She said, “Unfortunately, right now, I believe I am a highly qualified, educated, competent black woman in a profession that is race-neutral as the chief of police… And right now, I am being wrongfully terminated because I upheld the law and my belief that no one is above the law. I was also punished because I refused to treat criminal behavior by alleged perpetrators based on their race, creed, gender, or political affiliations.” How refreshing is that?
A former Virginia governor, Terry McAullife, took to Twitter and posted, “Our hero Louise Lucas and her fellow proud Portsmouth citizens deserve our admiration. Grateful this despicable political persecution is over.” “despicable persecution?” Sen. Lucas and her cohorts completely demolished those statutes, on video, in violation of the law. That is a fact; the reason doesn’t matter. If she doesn’t like it, she’s a legislator, and she can introduce legislation to change the law.
How can reasonable people ever hope to have a reasonable conversation with people who say things like this? It is surreal to have leaders from one political party that have so boldly abdicated their responsibility to equal justice, the rule of law, and maintaining law and order.
Sen. Lucas called the charges “obscure felony charges,” and asserted they [police] “created a scandalous national embarrassment for our city.” Since when are property damage laws “obscure?” She allegedly broke the law by overtly vandalizing public property. She doesn’t get to nullify laws she doesn’t like—no one does. In America, there is still a legal process available to address such issues. But, instead, she spit on the Constitution by ignoring the law and now her political supporters have sacrificed another (black, female) police chief on the altar of social justice.
In a related side-story, the city’s vice-mayor, Lisa Lucas-Burke (Sen. Lucas’ daughter) called for the police chief to be fired. She even created a Facebook page to publicize her efforts. A resident took issue and used a Virginia law that allows citizens to appear before a magistrate and request criminal charges against another person.
Tommy Dubois brought charges against Vice-Mayor Lucas-Burke for a violation of the Portsmouth city charter. He alleges creating the Facebook page violated the “‘noninterference in appointments or removals’ provision.”
One sycophant named Jay Jones tweeted, “The absolute right call. @SenLouiseLucas is a warrior for justice and this situation serves as a reminder of the systemic ills we’re working to combat every day. An empowered Civil Rights Division in the AG’s office would stamp out these baseless claims.”
What is Mr. Jones talking about? Baseless? If the vice-mayor created a Facebook page calling for the “removal” of the police chief, that is clear evidence of the “interference in removals provision.”
Nevertheless, Vice-Mayor Lucas-Burke celebrated the dismissal of charges and the firing of the police chief. Then again, it is her mother. So, I guess it’s not surprising that not wanting to be accountable to the law apparently runs in the family. Remember, they both referred to the laws they allegedly broke as “obscure.”
Sen. Lucas was among 18 other people arrested for breaking the law that exists prohibiting damaging public property. In this case, a statue. Those are the facts. Whether Sen. Lucas and the others would have been convicted, who knows? Maybe; maybe not. However, we will never know. Because of political pressure, officials dropped the charges and fired the police chief.
But what did Chief Greene do wrong? She enforced a law against people who allegedly broke the law. It doesn’t matter how anyone feels about the law, it exists. While it remains a law, society must respect it until it is legally altered or abolished. And if you break it, such as in civil disobedience (although committing property damage is stretching that concept), then accept the consequences. Don’t pretend you’re being persecuted.
The law has to mean something, right? What is this teaching our children when adult officials pretend that breaking a law against damaging public property is something akin to MLK’s non-violent civil rights movement? It’s an obvious cliché to say those politicians, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia, should be ashamed of themselves, but… well, they should be.