August 14, 2017

GOOD QUESTION: Where were the police and National Guard at the Charlottesville race riot?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Related, from Ann Althouse: “Pathetic. The police were afraid of the guns? But no shots were fired, even in response to punching and brawling. That makes it sound as though those people with guns were quite restrained, and yet they terrified the police.”

There was plenty of time to prepare, and it was pretty clear what was happening, but the police just stood by. I think it’s quite possible — as with previous events at Berkeley and Chicago — that the Democratic mayor wanted to see violence against the marchers, and withheld police protection to facilitate it. I hope the Department of Justice will look closely at the decisionmaking here, and bring charges if appropriate.

ANOTHER UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Pro Publica: Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville: State police and National Guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters.

Plus, Why Were The Police Held Back In Charlottesville?

Law enforcement was on hand at the dueling demonstrations on Saturday, decked out in riot gear and looking prepared for the worst. Except they weren’t allowed to do their job. Police on the scene were reported to have been ordered to “not intervene until given command to do so,” according to the ACLU. That kept them from suppressing the numerous scuffles that broke out.

When police were ordered to disperse the alt-right rally, that act directed the white nationalists into the antifa demonstrators, leading to further street brawls. Police didn’t seem to try to get in between the two groups or suppress the fights.

As I say, the Department of Justice needs to look very closely at what happened here.

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