Virginia State Police say they did not discover caches of weapons stashed around Charlottesville before last Saturday’s violence, contradicting claims made by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Reason reported Wednesday.
“They had battering rams and we had picked up different weapons that they had stashed around the city,” McAuliffe told Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson Monday during podcast interview.
However, Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said the state police never found such stockpiles of weapons.
“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,” Geller told Reason. “As a safety precaution in advance of August 12, such searches were conducted in and around Emancipation and McIntire Parks. No weapons were located as a result of those searches.”
This is the second instance that the state police have contradicted McAuliffe in relation to the events that happened in Charlottesville. The governor claimed in a New York Times interview that state police were vastly outgunned by armed white nationalists at the protests, but state police disputed this claim as well.
“The governor was referencing the weapons and tactical gear the members of various groups attending the rally had on their persons,” Geller said. “I can assure you that the Virginia State Police personnel were equipped with more-than-adequate specialized tactical and protective gear for the purpose of fulfilling their duties to serve and protect those in attendance of the August 12 event in Charlottesville.”