PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth city leaders remained silent and dodged questions after the sudden resignation of former police chief Tonya Chapman.
Her supporters and the Portsmouth NAACP are not backing down or staying quiet.
"We're going to stand up and tell the truth and those who don't like it, well, they're going to just have to deal with it," said James Boyd, the President of the Portsmouth NAACP.
Boyd didn't hold back Monday as he called city leaders out and held them accountable.
He said Mayor John Rowe needs to step up and offer an explanation.
"Mayor Rowe, you have a responsibility to this community to outline why Chief Chapman was removed. It is not enough to hide behind the veil of staff or a city manager. That is not leadership. That is cowardice," said Boyd.
She explained in her letter that she was forced to resign by City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton.
Chapman claimed she witnessed a high degree of systemic racism within the department, and when she tried to change the culture, some resisted, and she was told she had lost the confidence of her department.
"So, what happened was, they rose up to remove her. It is 2019 modern-day lynching and that's what happened with Tonya Chapman," Boyd said at a press conference Monday.
Boyd said the NAACP's relationships with Chapman wasn't always agreeable, but that's what made it productive.
"We disagreed with the progress of change but disagreements are natural in a relationship," he said.
As they continue to push city leaders for more answers, Boyd said the NAACP and other supporters will go to Tuesday night's city council meeting to voice their opinions.