Virginia BLM protester battling for life after confederate statue he helped tear down fell on his head
"We could see that his skull was actually showing... and he lost a great amount of blood. We ask everybody to pray for that man right now," president of Black Lives Matter 757 said of Chris Green
A Black Lives Matter protester was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday, June 10, after a confederate monument that he was trying to tear down, along with other people in Portsmouth, Virginia, toppled on his head.
The president of Black Lives Matter 757 told WAVY that Chris Green, a man in his thirties, was severely injured near one of four statues of Confederate-era figures, which was beheaded before being taken down by the protesters. The statue fell directly on him while being pulled down by ropes - a moment that was caught on camera. "We could see that his skull was actually showing... and he lost a great amount of blood. We ask everybody to pray for that man right now," the spokesman said. Soon after that, the crowd was told to disperse from the area.
Speaking to the press after the incident, Police Chief Angela Greene said, “It was a very unfortunate incident that should’ve never escalated to this.” She also added that while she never gave her officers any orders to ignore the destruction of the monument, a local elected official had directed that the vandalism be allowed to continue. Although she did not say any names, Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe said during a meeting Wednesday that police made the right call to not step in and enforce vandalism charges, adding that the monument was just “a piece of rock.”
Virginia State Police said on Thursday morning that they were investigating the serious injury of Green after the incident. Green is reportedly alive but his injuries are life-threatening. the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney will determine if any charges will be filed.
A GoFundMe page set up to cover the medical costs of Green has already collected over $14,000 of its goal of $20,000 in just 13 hours of launching. It reads: "Chris Green is a member of the 757 community who was severely injured during a demonstration at the confederate monuments in Portsmouth. All proceeds will be given to his family to help with any medical expenses and anything else they may need going forward."
Rocky Hines, who started the GoFundMe, said Green was trying to move people out of the way before the statue fell on him. He said that he had spoken with Green’s sister, who said her brother's condition was still not stable but was doing better than he was on Wednesday. He is responding to neurological testing.
Several Confederacy statues have been destroyed across the nation in the past 24 hours amid nationwide demonstrations against police brutality after an African-American man, George Floyd, was killed on May 25 in police custody. A statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus was ripped down in Saint Paul, Minnesota, while another statue of Columbus in Boston’s Atlantic Avenue in Massachusetts was beheaded. A sign that read "Columbus represents genocide" was placed on the spray-painted foundation in Minnesota that once held the figure. Mike Forcia, one member of the group, said: "It was the right thing to do and it was the right time to do it." Chelsea Higgs-Wise, another activist, said: "We have to start where it all began. We have to start with the people who stood first on this land.”