Norfolk, VA: As Women's History Month is celebrated across the country, one woman in Norfolk is fighting back against an unjust legal system. Amina Matheny-Willard, an African American civil rights attorney, is doubling down on her fight against the alleged crimes and incompetence of Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney Ramin Fatehi, after she was sanctioned by Norfolk Circuit Court Judge Everett Martin for attempting to hold Fatehi accountable for his failures as Commonwealth Attorney.
Matheny-Willard, representing several citizen petitioners, has filed a Writ of Mandamus and Prohibition with the Virginia Supreme Court, accusing Fatehi of failing to execute the basic ministerial duties required of his office, which has led to a city overrun with crime and violence. They allege that Fatehi has repeatedly failed to adequately prepare for the prosecution of certain defendants in high-profile homicide cases, leading to the dismissal of charges and mistrials, and allowing criminals to run free in Norfolk.
One such case involved the widely publicized murder of Old Dominion University student Chris Cummings. The petitioners claim that Fatehi's office failed to adequately prepare for the prosecution of certain defendants in this case and failed to timely disclose Brady material, which led to a dismissal without prejudice against one defendant and a mistrial for another.
In addition to these allegations, the petitioners question the motives behind Fatehi's $200,000 campaign contribution from George Soros, arguing that Fatehi has turned Norfolk into a "big social experiment" and that the results of this experiment have been disastrous. Matheny-Willard's fight against Fatehi and the Norfolk legal system has come at a cost. She was sanctioned by Judge Martin for her attempts to hold Fatehi accountable, likely in an attempt to silence her. But Matheny-Willard is not backing down. She has filed an appeal against Judge Martin's ruling, and filed a writ against the same Judge in the Virginia Supreme Court, seeking to force the Judge to empanel the grand jury to investigate the Commonwealth Attorney, pursuant to state law.
"No man is above the law," Matheny-Willard said. "I will not be silenced. I will continue to fight for the people of Norfolk, particularly the Black community, which has been targeted by criminals and harassed by the police."
Matheny-Willard is a true hero, standing up against a system that has failed her community and trying to hold those in power accountable. She is willing to take personal risk to do what is right, and she is willing to fight for people who are not strong or brave enough to know how to fight for themselves.
As Women's History Month continues, let us honor the courage and strength of women like Amina Matheny-Willard, who are fighting for justice and equality.