An investigation into the violence in Charlottesville, VA in August has found that law enforcement, led by the city, is largely to blame. Former U.S. attorney Timothy Heaphy found that “planning and coordination breakdowns” before the Aug. 12 rally led to “disastrous results.”
The released report details that the city did not adequately communicate or plan;
“This represents a failure of one government’s core functions – the protection of fundamental rights. Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury, and death. Charlottesville preserved neither of those principles on Aug. 12, which has led to deep distrust of government within this community.”
Heaphy and his team interviewed 150 people and researched over 500,000 documents. The determination was that police were not placed in the proper places. Officers also lacked protective gear and subsequently “failed to intervene in physical altercations that took place in areas adjacent to Emancipation Park. (Virginia State Police) directed its officers to remain behind barricades rather than risk injury responding to conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters.”
White supremacists had gone to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Fights broke out between them and counter-protesters quickly. Police were there but never intervened or attempted to restore order. The report states;
“The report finds that protesters/counter-protesters were basically able to have a free-for-all on Market Street while police sat back for an hour in one case, and in other cases, they were told to just stand by while people fought each other.”
The cville report that came out today is very important. The cops were incompetent and largely responsible for the violence. https://t.co/R0yPn5G1uf
— Alex Pfeiffer (@PfeifferDC) December 1, 2017
The report also found that there was supposed to be an officer posted near the intersection where Heather Heyer was killed by a car driving through the crowd. The officer feared for his or her safety and asked to be relieved. No replacement was ever put in place.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Police Chief Al Thomas, along with other top officials, have defended the response by law enforcement. They justified the police’s lack of response by saying that people in the crowd were heavily armed.
City officials asked Heaphy to conduct the review after all the criticism they received. It is unlikely they will be pleased with the verdict.
Source: Fox News