The brutal Neo-Nazi Charlottesville rally in August that killed one woman, injured dozens and rallied Black Lives Matter into formation was spurred, in large part, by a major failure of police, a new scathing independent review released Friday said.
Officers ignored fighting, retreated away from protesters and left the violence created by White supremacists unchecked for an extensive period of time, the 220-page indictment, based on former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy’s months-long investigation, said. An officer was removed before a car barreled through a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters and killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year woman, the report said, according to the Associated Press.
“This represents a failure of one of 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 August 12, which has led to deep distrust of government within this community.”
When brawls erupted, officers watched them in the street for a nearly an hour before they intervened, the report said. Their passive and grossly negligent response was because they failed to “adequately communicate” or “coordinate in advance.”
State and city police also stumbled in coordinating between each other’s department, Heaphy’s team discovered after having interviewed 150 people and having reviewed half a million documents for the report. What the poor response amounted to was a complete failure “to protect public safety or the protesters’ right to express themselves.”
It is not surprising that cops’ reluctance amounted to gross errors in responsibility. Marches involving BLM activists have shed light on the dismissal of those who stand up against fascism and supremacy by law enforcement. Americans have long heard the poisonous lies that devalue the lives of people of color.
The police’s actions or perhaps, more appropriately, inaction, points to the belief that cops are rarely disciplined for missteps. A “strategy of disengagement,” like the one employed in Charlottesville by cops, can backfire and escalate violence, Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor who has worked on police reform efforts in Los Angeles, told ProPublica.
What steps are next for the Charlottesville police are unclear, but reform and punishment are already being talked about on social media.
Black Man Who Was Brutally Beaten By White Supremacists In Charlottesville Is Still Receiving Threats
THEY HAVE A NAME: Honoring Those We Lost To Senseless Violence (PHOTOS)
1. Jordan DavisSource:Facebook 1 of 30
2. Trayvon MartinSource:Facebook 2 of 30
3. Kendrick JohnsonSource:Handout 3 of 30
4. Alaysha CarradineSource:Family Photo 4 of 30
5. Renisha McBrideSource:Handout 5 of 30
6. Amanda ToddSource:Facebook 6 of 30
7. Jonathan FerrellSource:Handout 7 of 30
8. Darius Simmons8 of 30
9. Shaniya DavisSource:Handout 9 of 30
10. Andy LopezSource:Handout 10 of 30
11. Joshua ProuteySource:Handout 11 of 30
12. Jonylah WatkinsSource:Handout 12 of 30
13. Steven SimpsonSource:Facebook 13 of 30
14. Leila FowlerSource:Handout 14 of 30
15. Shaneisha ForbesSource:Facebook 15 of 30
16. D’aja RobinsonSource:Instagram 16 of 30
17. Brooklynn MohlerSource:Facebook 17 of 30
18. Ashley QuallsSource:Facebook 18 of 30
19. Nicholeia TaylorSource:Facebook 19 of 30
20. Trayvon DoddSource:Family of Trayvon Dodd 20 of 30
21. Demarius ReedSource:Google 21 of 30
22. Jasmine BenjaminSource:Facebook 22 of 30
23. Autumn PasqualeSource:Family Photo 23 of 30
24. Antiq HennisSource:Facebook 24 of 30
25. Caleb Gordley25 of 30
26. Noel PolancoSource:Facebook 26 of 30
27. Ramarley Graham27 of 30
28. Marcos Arenas28 of 30
29. Steven Gregory Grich29 of 30
30. Joshua WoodSource:Family of Joshua Wood 30 of 30
Police At Fault For Ignoring Racist Charlottesville Violence, Report Says was originally published on newsone.com