Hate-crime charges filed in Charlottesville auto attack
Charlottesville car attack suspect facing more than two dozen federal hate-crime charges.
Law enforcement officials in two cities in the USA are directed on prevention of repetition of the violence that erupted a year ago in Charlottesville, Va.
“There was confusion that the authority had to respond in a certain way,” RaShall Brackney, the new Charlottesville Police chief, said on 12 July community briefing. “We have a very clear, a very clear understanding of the top…what the expectations are, and the expectations are that there is not the type of violence that occurred in this community last year.”
Aug. 12 brands a year ago that a group consists primarily of white supremacists clashed with counter protesters and the Antifa protesters in the usually picturesque and historic city centre of Charlottesville. Several people were injured and one counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a driver rammed his car through a crowd gathered near the Downtown Mall.
Charlottesville officials expect crowds to assemble for commemorative ceremonies around the city, but they have not granted licences for the Market Street Park, the site of last year’s controversial “Unite the Right” rally. The organizer, Jason Kessler, pulled out a request to hold an anniversary event and, instead, encourages its followers to live what he calls the “Unite the Right 2” in Washington, D. C. on Sunday.
The heads of the agencies involved in the protection of Charlottesville this weekend said they’re preparing for a civil commotion or unrest.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the City of Charlottesville declared States of Emergency Wednesday, a move that has $2 million for response efforts and permits the assistance of the Virginia National Guard.
Law enforcement personnel will operate under a unified Command, consisting of the leaders of the Charlottesville Police Department, Virginia State Police, and the Charlottesville Fire department. The officials of those agencies declined to say how many officers active in Charlottesville over the weekend, but Virginia State Police Captain Craig Worsham said officers from his agency will be “very present.”
“We’re going to be active and assertive. Expect interactions with the police. Expect them to be dressed in different uniforms, because we’re going to get out and do what we do. Not much,” Worsham said during the briefing. “There will be some officials of the police and justice types are outlines, but there’s a lot of, a lot of people and work and patrol.”
Charlottesville will close streets of the town and parks in the city. Some items used as weapons last year are also prohibited, including sticks, shields, and open fire. According to Virginia State law, firearms cannot be banned in the public areas.
Brackney cautioned, however, offenders are not likely to observe the city ordinances.
“Lawbreakers don’t care about our ordinances, they do not care about our laws, they don’t care about the statute. Otherwise, they would not do the things that they do anyway,” Brackney said.
In Washington, DC, the National Park Service approved Kessler-anniversary event of the application for the Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the north side of the White House
According to Kessler’s permit application, he expects a crowd of about 400 people. A National Park Service spokesman said on Wednesday that al Kessler, the request was approved, the permit is still pending. Multiple licences were requested for counter demonstrations take place elsewhere in the District.
The United States Park Police, United States Secret Service, the National Park Service, Metro Transit Police and DC Metropolitan Police are all involved in securing the event.
“We plan to have the entire police department doing to ensure that we handle,” MPD chief of Police Peter Newsham said at a press conference.
Law enforcement officials were heavily criticized in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally last year for the non-separation of opposing groups. Newsham did reveal part of their security strategy this time is to keep conflicting groups apart.
“We have these types of a high-tension meetings here in the District,” Newsham said. “We are 100 percent going to make sure the groups remain separate.”
Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter said just be prepared, it is not enough.
“I have always been a challenge for our team will be able to define success for me when we talk about a program or initiative, or answer,” Baxter said. “So I will tell you that my goal, my definition of success will be on Monday the 13th of August, that the community says to us: ‘boys, You were all to prepare.’ I will be OK with that.”