PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A judge in Virginia has dismissed misdemeanor trespassing charges that were filed against two NAACP leaders who were protesting a Confederate monument.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the charges were dropped Thursday against James Boyd and Louie Gibbs. They are the president and vice president respectively of the Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP.
They were handcuffed and arrested June 10 at monument in the city's downtown.
Prosecutor Shea Coleman told the Pilot that she had moved to drop the charges because evidence “showed that the elements of the charges were not met."
Defense attorney Don Scott had also asked the judge to drop the charges.
Boyd told the Pilot that the charges were a “waste of judicial resources” and a “power play to make some type of statement.”
Boyd and Gibbs said they were placing coverings on the monument when they were arrested. Boyd said the police chief and city attorney were OK with that as long as they didn't deface the monument.
Demonstrators later beheaded four statues on the monument and pulled one down. A protester also was seriously injured when the statue fell on him.