Charlottesville's police chief spoke Monday regarding the violence in the city over the weekend. Both sides equipped with sticks, shields, helmets, and pepper spray went at it over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"They had battering rams and, you know, we had picked up different weapons that they had stashed around the city".
Though McAuliffe strongly commended law enforcement's handling of the event, he appeared to suggest that police were unprepared for who actually showed up to the rally. Heather D. Heyer, 32, died on Saturday when a auto allegedly driven by 20-year-old OH resident James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into a group protesting against white supremacy.
"The governor was referring to the briefing provided him in advance of Saturday's rally and the extra security measures being taken by local and state police".
It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades.
"If you see people yesterday walking down the street yesterday with semi-automatic rifles strapped to their body", he said. "As uncomfortable as it is to be a police officer out there in between them, that's the only thing to do".
"The commentary from communities of color in Charlottesville is that the police have never protected them", said Caine-Conley.More news: Spain attacks: Man launches Facebook appeal for missing grandson
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The police chief said the department's "action plan" called for the street crossing where Heyer was killed to be closed but it was less clear why it may have been open at the time Fields is accused of driving into the crowd at a high speed after a collision with another vehicle. "I can assure you that the Virginia State Police personnel were equipped with more-than-adequate specialized tactical and protective gear for the objective of fulfilling their duties to serve and protect those in attendance of the August 12 event in Charlottesville". "Did you give any orders to police officers not to help people who were being assaulted?"
Demonstrators and counterdemonstrators "need to be in sight and sound of each other, but somebody has to be in between", he said.
White nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach drew a crowd outside the court-house but was shouted down.
Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former New York City police sergeant, said there should have been a stronger police presence and officers should have created a buffer zone between the two groups.
"I even saw some of the police smiling while they were watching the brawls take place", she added. "And yet not a shot was sacked, zero property damage". "He is a terrorist", he said.
"No, the State Police did not have inferior equipment", Geller told the Free Beacon on Monday. When asked if he had any regrets about not having his officers better prepared for the situation, and in the proper gear, so they could have acted sooner, Thomas admitted he did have some regrets.
"We don't release our tactical gear or anything of that nature for the protective purposes of our law enforcement", Geller said. "They had probably hundreds of officers, some of whom were in riot gear, some of whom weren't, but they clearly had some sort of coordinated strategy".