Thursday's HOT MIC
The Charlottesville mayor and police chief are at each other's throats after the city's botched response to the "Unite the Right" rally that turned deadly on August 12.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer on Thursday said that the police chief told him to "stay out of his way" during planning for the rally.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer on Thursday said he was denied access to security details before the deadly white nationalist rally earlier this month, claiming that his city's police chief at one point told the mayor to "stay out of my way."
In a lengthy Facebook post, Signer said the Charlottesville City Council was not given the city's security plan for the Aug. 12 rally.
"During a briefing on the Thursday before August 12 with the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, and the City Manager, when I asked the Police Chief what I could do to be helpful during that day as Mayor, he answered, 'Stay out of my way,' " Signer wrote in the post."Despite repeated requests, I was not allowed into the City’s Command Center (run by City staff) and was instead asked to be in the Emergency Operations Center (where fire, rescue, and other stakeholders were monitoring the situation)."
Signor has repeatedly denied giving a "stand-down order" to police. "I simply don't have that legal authority," he said. "I couldn't order a 'stand down' if I wanted to."
City officials have been hit hard for their grossly inadequate response to the off-the-charts violence at the rally.
Immediately after the car plowed into a crowd of protesters in the street, a shell-shocked local told a reporter that cops were standing on the side of the road and "didn't do anything" to prevent it. The eyewitness complained that the police were just standing around guarding "the people at the rally" instead of the townspeople.
"It took him [the driver] three - four - five minutes to get down here! There's hundreds of thousands of cops down here and they can't get to us like this?!" the exasperated man exclaimed. "They can stand around and surround everybody else, and protect them -- but the people who live here -- they can't even protect us?!"
Asked if he thought the accident was intentional, the man answered, "Yeah, it was intentional -- and the way they [the police?] backed up -- it was all intentional."