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Black police chief in Virginia says she was forced out

March 25, 2019

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The first black woman to lead a city police department in Virginia says she was forced out, accusing a small group of officers of “bias and acts of systemic racism, discriminatory practices and abuse of authority.”

Tonya Chapman released a four-page statement early Monday, a week after she abruptly resigned from the Portsmouth Police Department.

She says her attempts to change the culture consistently met with resistance from some members of police, some of whom “quite frankly did not like taking direction from an African American female.” Despite working closely with the city manager during her three-year tenure, Chapman says the city manager made her resign “under duress” and without warning.

Her statement also included a list of crime reduction statistics and community engagement initiatives established during her tenure.