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CAIR Decries ‘Excessive and Unjust’ Charges Against Virginia Lawmaker, NAACP Members for Anti-Racist Confederate Protest

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/18/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried as “excessive and unjust” felony charges brought against a Virginia state senator and others for actions at a Confederate monument destroyed on June 10 in Portsmouth, Va. 

Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas faces charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument. Warrants were also issued against Portsmouth School Board member LaKeesha S. “Klu” Atkinson and members of the NAACP. 

SEE: Virginia state senator, NAACP reps charged after destruction of Confederate monument 

Of the charges, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tweeted: “It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform, the first Black woman to serve as our Senate Pro Tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges.” 

“These excessive and unjust charges seem to be a politically-motivated attempt to push back against those who are challenging systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy in our society,” said CAIR Deputy Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell. “The charges should be reconsidered by independent authorities and amended or withdrawn.” 

He said Washington, D.C.-based CAIR and the American Muslim community are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy.  

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Speaks at Unveiling of Black Lives Matter Banner       

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.        

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.        

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com

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