It seems that the police had completely lost control of the city. The State of Emergency order meant that any public gathering was de facto illegal, but Antifa were still allowed to roam freely bearing weapons and attacking people. This chaos ultimately led directly to the vehicular incident that killed a woman and badly injured more than a dozen others.
“My conclusions are that police wanted this to happen,” Pax Dickinson, wrote in the Daily Caller, August 14, 2017. “It’s clear that VSP [Virginia State Police] had specific orders to drive us out of the park to the south, into the teeth of violent armed antifa counter-protesters,” Dickinson said.
An attendee of the Unite The Right rally and scheduled speaker, he believes the Virginia police on Saturday created a dangerous situation, one which was entirely avoidable.
“We already know the Democrats, the media, the police, and the Universities are united against us. This attempt to stop the right’s free speech and blame the right for all the violence was planned. The left have used this tactic before during the Trump campaign. Lefties are excellent at playing professional victim. It’s their favorite tactic,” Dickinson said.
Multiple eyewitness accounts indicate that police actually forced confrontations between UTR and Antifa, by blockading potential paths of retreat. This makes it very difficult to believe that a violent confrontation was not the intention from the beginning. The governor and mayor were going to revoke UTR’s permit to speak one way or another.
Both Oath Keeper and Constitution Protector groups said the police funneled the counter protesters into the Unite The Right rally on purpose. There was no buffer zone, between the groups, despite the large police presence. The National Guard was in fact already on the scene that morning.
The city’s former top police officer as well as law enforcement experts have been highly critical of the way police responded in Charlottesville, saying their inaction allowed the violence to get out of hand.
Former Charlottesville Police chief Timothy Longo said he was “shocked” that police didn’t block the street where a car plowed into a group of protesters Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring several others.
Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former New York City police sergeant, said there should have been a buffer zone created between the two groups. Longo said he would have expected police to have created buffers.
“When you have a group on one side and another group protesting against them, you have to put yourself in the middle of them,” Giacalone explained.
The Virginia police chief told Associated Press on Monday that he “absolutely has regrets” about violence that erupted over the weekend when Antifa clashed with white nationalists.
“As the world watched pandemonium in Charlottesville unfold live on television Saturday, officers seemed to stand on the sidelines,” AP noted. “Absolutely I have regrets,” Chief Al Thomas at a news conference. “It was a tragic, tragic weekend.”
“We were hoping for a peaceful demonstration,” Thomas said. “Gradually the crowd size increased along with aggressiveness and hostility of the attendees towards one another.”
But eyewitnesses said Thomas’ account of his officers being “spread thin” and making “quick adjustments to their strategies when white nationalists began swarming the park and violence erupted” is pure nonsense.
Conservative groups walked calmly but they were being deliberately separated into small groups and eventually steered right into the violence while the police stood by watching.
The UTR marchers were attacked with chains, bats, rocks, paintballs, fists and pepper spray, but the Charlottesville Democratic “leadership” and media have turned a blind eye to Antifa’s actions.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he would ask his administration to conduct an “extensive review” of how police prepare and respond to rallies, amid calls for an independent review to determine if leftist politics played a role.
Former Republican Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore on Tuesday said the public “needs to know” if the state and city had taken the proper precautions to avoid the clashes and if police were told to stand down.
In an interview with Secrets, Gilmore dismissed McAuliffe’s call for an internal review. Instead, he said that an independent group must be charged with the investigation, because the governor’s office should not be involved.
“This has to be an independent review. We have to know what the governor did, how he participated in it, whether he was part of the meetings, whether he had a meeting, whether the secretary of public safety was in the meeting, where it was held, was it in Richmond or Charlottesville, what planning was done, and what constraints if any were put on the police,” said Gilmore, a former Virginia attorney general and county attorney.
Gilmore added: “While we support the police, we know they do a good job, we don’t know what direction they got at the time of the Charlottesville riots.”
Several reports have said that the police stood by as the two groups clashed. Gilmore also said there was a report that police were “asked to stand aside and be more passive” indicating a clear political motive to let the situation get out of hand.
He added, “They didn’t have a plan to separate these groups. The governor seems to be blaming everybody else.”
Gilmore said, “You have to have afore-knowledge of what is ready to happen and a plan in place to be able to deal with it so the police can carry out the plan. In this case the was no plan apparently to divide these people from one to the other. We need to know, we need to be advised as to what action was taken or not taken.”
In a televised statement Saturday, McAuliffe blamed “white hate groups” for the violence, but he changed his tune later and blamed the ACLU which sued to keep the protest in downtown Charlottesville.