Former Charlottesville, Virginia Police Chief RaShall Brackney and Cochran Firm attorney Charles Tucker have filed a lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville and several current and former city officials. Brackney was fired last September (2021) after what she describes as a monthslong conspiracy to have her fired and claims that the firing happened due to her race, color, and sex. The City of Charlottesville has declined to comment on the lawsuit explaining that they do not comment on pending litigation. In addition to the city itself, the lawsuit names ten individuals including former City Manager Chip Boyles and former Assistant Police Chief James Mooney.
Boyles claims that he fired Brackney after comments from ten police department leaders claiming that they would leave the department if Brackney’s leadership continued. Former Police Chief Brackney feels that she was fired, “for being a black woman who was trying to reform a police department.” Boyles has also stated that he regrets the firing and wished that he had worked with Brackney and city councilors before making the “hasty” decision.
"You have been put on notice. As our former Mayor said, we have unmasked this illusion."- RaShall Brackney
In November of 2021 Brackney filed an Equal Opportunity Commission complaint against the city, Boyles, and others where she asked for $3 million due to continued, “humiliating acts of discrimination, continued disparate treatment, harassment, and retaliation.” The lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia filed by Brackney lists 11 causes of action for the lawsuit that include race, color, and gender discrimination, unlawful retaliation, defamation, violation of Virginia’s whistleblower statute, among others.
Nikuyah Walker, the outgoing Mayor of Charlottesville announced in September that she would not run for city council again because of Brackney’s firing and stated that Charlottesville city leaders were contributing to white supremacy. During the news conference on Thursday (June 16, 2022) Brackney warned the defendants, “You have been put on notice. As our former Mayer (Walker) said, we have unmasked this illusion.”