Report: Police Failure Led To Charlottesville Violence

A series of failures by the Charlottesville Police helped contribute to violence at a white nationalist rally in August, a report released Friday details.

A former U.S. attorney hired by the city of Charlottesville, Va., Timothy Heapy, drafted a report through his law firm that detailed the weak law enforcement preparation and response. President Donald Trump was criticized in the wake of the rally for not condemning white nationalists strongly enough for being responsible for the violence that led to the death of Heather Heyer.

One damning part of the Heapy?s 220 page report was that the death of Heyer was due in part to police incompetence.

The most tragic manifestation of the failure to protect public safety after the event was declared unlawful was the death of Heather Heyer. Early on August 12, CPD had placed a school resource officer alone at the intersection of 4th Street NE and Market Street. This officer feared for her safety as groups of angry Alt-Right protesters and counter-protesters streamed by her as they left Emancipation Park. The officer called for assistance and was relieved of her post," the law firm Hunton & Williams found.

Unfortunately, CPD commanders did not replace her or make other arrangements to prevent traffic from traveling across the Downtown Mall on 4th Street. A single wooden saw horse was all that impeded traffic down 4th Street as large groups of people continued to roam the streets. This vulnerability was exposed when James Fields drove his vehicle down the unprotected street into a large crowd of counter-protesters at the intersection of 4th Street SE and Water Street, killing Ms. Heyer.

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