This summer saw heated tension erupt into violence in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia during a white nationalist rally when riots and fighting broke out between politically active left and right groups.

The violence left at least one person dead and set off a chain reaction across the country with other incidents happening at Confederate monuments all over the place.

In the months that have followed, people have struggled to figure out what exactly sparked the violence in the first place. Was it hateful words between folks of different political persuasions? Did someone opt for fists instead of words, and the fisticuffs spread through the crowd?

Well, it seems we now know the answer to what happened and apparently it’s the fault of local law enforcement.

According to Fox News, police errors may have contributed to fanning the flames of civil unrest in Charlottesvile that fateful day in August.

Former U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy conducted a month long investigation into the incident and discovered that “planning and coordination breakdowns” occurred before the Aug. 12 event led to “disastrous results.”

In a report released Friday, the city of Charlottesville failed to adequately communicate and coordinate officers ahead of time to make sure enough manpower was available to provide security to every quadrant. This led to the removal of an officer from the area where a crazed lunatic plowed into some people, including counterprotesters, killing a woman.

Lucia Suarez Sang has more information:

“Because of their misalignment and lack of accessible protective gear, officers failed to intervene in physical altercations that took place in areas adjacent to Emancipation Park,” the report said. “(Virginia State Police) directed its officers to remain behind barricades rather than risk injury responding to conflicts between protesters and counterprotesters.”

Heaphy’s team interview 150 people and pored over half a million documents for the report, which said the city of Charlottesville had failed to protect public safety or the protesters’ rights to express themselves.

“This represents a failure of one government’s core functions – the protection of fundamental rights,” the report said. “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.”

“The report finds that protesters/counterprotesters 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 report said.

According to the report, a police officer was supposed to be stationed near the intersection where the vehicle bulldozed through counterprotesters, however the officer in question asked to be relieved due to safety concerns. The officer was not replaced. Not with another trained professional anyway. A sawhorse was put there. Lot of good that did, right?

It certainly does seem like the police dropped the ball on this one and that things might have been a bit different had better preparations for this event been made.

Essentially, the Charlottesville police now have to shoulder the responsibility for this mess and own it, which is the only real option they have. Perhaps they have learned a valuable lesson here and will not repeat these same mistakes in the future.

TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Source