Sen. Louise Lucas was released without bail for charges that Gov. Ralph Northam called “highly unusual.”
Sen. Louise Lucas turned herself in to the Portsmouth Police Department a day after the sheriff’s office charged her with two felonies in connection with an attempted Confederate statue removal in June.
Sen. Lucas, the state’s first Black leader of the senate, has been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and “injury” to a monument in excess of $1,000. The charges were filed the day before Lucas was to attend a General Assembly special session centred around criminal justice reform.
On June 10, a Confederate monument in Portsmouth was broken apart by demonstrators when a piece of debris struck a man in the process. The man, Chris Green, sustained critical injuries. The senator’s attorney stated that Lucas was only at the demonstration for 30 minutes.
According to spokesperson Col. Marvin Waters, she was released on a personal recognizance bond Tuesday Afternoon. Waters told CNN that this means that she did not have to post bail.
Lucas was one of 14 people charged in connection with the statue removal, including a Portsmouth school board member, NAACP chapter members, and three public defenders. Lucas’s attorney, Don Scott Jr., has called the charges a desperate act of politics.
“Consequently they’re doing what they always do which is they weaponize the criminal justice system against black leadership and that’s what they’re doing this time we’re gonna fight it vehemently, we’re gonna fight it vigorously,” Scott told WAVY.
The attorney also said that the police department’s failure to seek district attorney approval on the charges is indicative of how a “third world country or kangaroo court” would handle an investigation.
“I will be vindicated,” said Lucas as she entered yesterday’s General Assembly special session.
Scott has told CNN that her next expected court appearance is Sept. 4, where a trial date is expected to be set.