Lee Monument Protest Class Action

Lee Monument Protest Class Action Update

4/23/2021 --- Blackwood plaintiffs, by counsel, and move to modify the orders of June 26, 2020, July 6, 2020, and December 10, 2020, related to discovery. In the interim, the civil rights law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, PC has conducted detailed analysis of the events and continues to advocate to hold the officers accountable and to provide transparency.

12/10/2020 --- The District Court approved a joint discovery plan.

11/18/2020 --- Mark E. Rubin to serve as Special Master for the purposes of mediating a settlement in these consolidated actions

"Qualified Immunity"

"This has to stop!"

Virginia Lawmakers REJECTED Bill That Bans Qualified Immunity for Cops

Bill Has Failed


08/14/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 08/18/20 20200380D
08/14/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
08/25/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB5013)
08/26/2020Reported from Courts of Justice (12-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
08/28/2020Motion to refer to committee agreed to
08/28/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
08/28/2020Read first time
08/31/2020Failed to report (defeated) in Appropriations (11-Y 11-N)

The judge invented doctrine to protect law enforcement officers is coming under scrutiny.  On August 4, 2020, federal judge Carlton W. Reeves in the Southern District of Mississippi wrote:

The Constitution says everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law – even at the hands of law enforcement. Over the decades, however, judges have invented a legal doctrine to protect law enforcement officers from having to face any consequences for wrongdoing. The doctrine is called “qualified immunity.” In real life it operates like absolute immunity.

In a recent qualified immunity case, the Fourth Circuit wrote:

Although we recognize that our police officers are often asked to make split-second decisions, we expect them to do so with respect for the dignity and worth of black lives.

This Court agrees. Tragically, thousands have died at the hands of law enforcement over the years, and the death toll continues to rise. Countless more have suffered from other forms of abuse and misconduct by police. Qualified immunity has served as a shield for these officers, protecting them from accountability.

This Court is required to apply the law as stated by the Supreme Court. Under that law, the officer who transformed a short traffic stop into an almost two-hour, life-altering ordeal is entitled to qualified immunity. The officer’s motion seeking as much is therefore granted.

But let us not be fooled by legal jargon. Immunity is not exoneration. And the harm in this case to one man sheds light on the harm done to the nation by this manufactured doctrine.

As the Fourth Circuit concluded, “This has to stop.

Jamison v. McClendon, No. 3:16-CV-595-CWR-LRA, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139327, at *4 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 4, 2020)

Judge John A. Gibney assigned to the case


Docket Text:
Case Reassigned to District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.. District Judge Henry E. Hudson no longer assigned to the case. (smej, )

 Court Document 30 Filed 07/21/20

Judge Hudson Recuses Himself

Even though a Judge may be impartial, the public perception is also important, and to avoid the appearance of impartiality due to a prior working relationship with former police chief William Smith, Judge Hudson recused himself.

Court Document 26 Filed 07/14/20

Judge Novak No Longer on the Case

Judge Novak rucuses himself because the Former Chief of Police objects as his nephew works as an officer for the Richmond Police Department.  The case was assigned to Judge Hudson, but with his ties to the Former Chief of Police, he will likely recuse himself as well.

The Identity of the Police Officers Discovered

The City of Richmond Police Department has provided counsel with a list of names of Richmond Police Officers involved at the Lee Memorial on June 1, 2020.  The identities of the officers is subject to a protective order at this time, but available to counsel who continue to investigate the matter.

Court Document 23 Filed 07/13/20