Click Here to Play Audio

Updated Nov. 16, 2020 at 1:01 p.m.

Supporters of Portsmouth Chief Angela Greene gathered at City Hall this morning where she was fired. Greene has been on paid leave since September.

She was fired this morning in a meeting with staff from the city managers office, human resources and city attorneys. Greene said the only explanation she was given is because she’s an at-will employee. It means employees can be fired at any time for any legal reason.

The termination was effective immediately.

After the meeting, she held a press conference on the steps of City Hall and was welcomed by police officers and community members who applauded her.

"It's heartwarming to know that I have such great community support, that my officers understand why I did what I did," she said.

Greene has worked in Portsmouth since 2016. She was promoted to chief in 2019 after her predecessor resigned, citing racism and discrimination in the force.

Greene will be pursuing legal action. She said she believes she was fired for filing charges against political leaders in the city.

"I absolutely believe everything surrounding the monument and political leaders in the city is why I'm terminated," she said.

City spokesperson Dana Woodson declined to say why Greene was fired, saying it's a personnel matter.

Photo by Mechelle Hankerson

Portsmouth police officers were outside City Hall when former chief Angela Greene came from a meeting where she was fired. She said she was given no explanation, but believes it has to do with charges she brought against political leaders this summer.

In August, Greene filed criminal charges against Sen. Louise Lucas, city school board members and other prominent Black community members for allegedly being part of a protest at the city's Confederate monument. Protesters threw paint on the statue earlier this summer and covered it in graffiti.

They also pulled part of it down, seriously injuring one man.

Greene filed charges against Lucas and others afterwards. Former city manager Lydia Pettis Patton told City Council in an email Greene had a conflict of interest and shouldn't have done that. Portsmouth vice-mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke, Sen. Lucas's daughter, posted the email to her public Facebook account.

Later, Greene said in a statement there was no conflict of interest, so it was appropriate for the police department to investigate.

She was then placed on leave.

"I believe I was wrongfully terminated for upholding the law and retaliated against for sticking to my sworn oath that I swore to serve and protect my citizens, community and keeping my officers safe," she said.

Greene said she wouldn't have handled the monument situtation differently. 

"We want to make sure this cycle ends and that law enforcement is able to protect the community and continue to enforce the law without interference from political leaders," she said.