According to a new 220 page report, Charlottesville police chief Al Thomas admits ordering a stand down, “it would make it easier to declare unlawful assembly”.
“Let them fight.” That directive from the police chief as the violence started to unfold was only part of the massive failure of the response to the “Unite the Right rally” in Charlottesville, according to a searing 220-page report by an independent review team released Friday.
[…]Virginia State Police were told that their job was to protect Emancipation Park, where the statue of Robert E. Lee was located. Charlottesville officers were told that they were only to “intervene in serious violence, violence where someone would be seriously hurt or killed,” Heaphy said.
Well they waited to long and let it get out of hand.
Upon witnessing the first signs of open violence, Police Chief Al Thomas said “Let them fight, it will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly’,” according to his personal assistant’s account to investigators. Thomas didn’t recall making that statement but did concede he wanted to wait to see how things played out. “Regardless of what he said, Chief Thomas’ slow-footed response to violence put the safety of all at risk and created indelible images of this chaotic event,” the report states.
It wasn’t until more than 40 minutes after those first signs of violence that an unlawful assembly was declared, at around 11 a.m.
A 32-year-old woman was killed and two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Would these people still be alive if the police chief had not ordered his officers to “let them fight”?