A new bombshell independent report that highlights the failures of the Charlottesville Police Department during the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in August claims that law enforcement on the scene feared direct attacks from far-left extremists, and that this may have even led to their refusal to intervene in the chaotic riot.
The report was drafted by a former U.S. attorney hired by the city of Charlottesville, Va., Timothy Heapy, through his law firm.
According to the report, the authors “spoke to multiple officers at all levels who expressed concern that normal arrest procedures would put officers in harm’s way. In the week before August 12, the Virginia Fusion Center shared credible threats that members of Antifa would bring soda cans filled with cement and might attack police. Then, on the morning of August 12, rumors circulated among CPD that Antifa might attack officers with fentanyl.”
The apparent threat of violence against police from Antifa reportedly led officers to avoid direct confrontation in the ensuing melee.
As the report notes, a variety of orders were given by a multitude of different law enforcement officers to avoid breaking up fights between the Unite the Right rally attendees and counter-protesters.
For example, “Lieutenant Brian O’Donnell, commander of Zone 3 (1stStreet) instructed his officers to avoid engaging attendees over ‘every little thing.'”
Furthermore, “Sergeant Robert Haney described the instructions he received as ‘do not interrupt mutual combat’ unless someone is seriously injured,” the report alleges.
The report noted Lieutenant McKean “told [the authors of the report] that he was ‘not sending guys out there and getting them hurt.’
The report concludes that the police strategy was therefore to “rather than engage the crowd and prevent fights, the CPD plan was to declare the event unlawful and disperse the crowd.” [RELATED: Report: Police Failure Led To Charlottesville Violence]