McGee presented the charges before a Virginia magistrate, then stood behind the police chief when she announced them. “Chief Greene deserves nothing less than the highest praise and she should be given the resources to continue to rebuild this Police Department,” he reportedly wrote in his earlier email. “If Senator Lucas wants to place blame on anyone for this incident, she should start by looking in the mirror.”
Lucas isn’t the only Black woman McGee has apparently had it out for. Before Tonya Chapman, the city’s first Black woman to serve as police chief, was forced to resign last April after expressing her dedication to fighting systemic racism within the police department, McGee asked the local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to take a vote of no confidence in her. She allegedly wouldn’t promote him, HuffPost reported.
Chapman told The Virginian-Pilot the organization ultimately couldn’t go through with the vote because it couldn’t “articulate valid reasons.” She also noted that the only other time the local Fraternal Order of Police pursued a no-confidence vote was against a Black male chief. She told HuffPost the FOP “did not want to take direction from me because I’m not a white male.”
Even though Black Portsmouth residents account for nearly 55% of the population, the Portsmouth Police Department has long faced allegations of racism. The white president of the FOP was even accused of calling a Black cop a “trunk monkey” in 2018, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
“The majority of those officers don’t live in Portsmouth,” Don Scott, who is representing Lucas, told HuffPost. ”The chief doesn’t even live in Portsmouth, which is amazing. So nobody is invested in the well-being of our community, they come here for a check. We’re being controlled by a hostile force.”
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