Charlottesville City officials on Tuesday sought to reassure community members that they will be kept safe during the Ku Klux Klan’s planned rally in a little more than two weeks. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has more.
Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said the department’s developed a coordinated public safety response to the KKK’s demonstration on July 8th. Police also have a back up plan, he said, and a back up plan for the back up plan. The worry, the chief said, is that groups like the KKK want to provoke a reaction from residents.
CHIEF AL THOMAS: We attended a number of community meetings last week and our message was clear and consistent: don’t take the bait.
Instead, city officials and a bevy of business owners, activists, and religious leaders have planned a day of events across the city.
THOMAS: I hope that July 8th will be remembered as a day of unity not a day of hate and fear. Fear will not define this community.
Events will range from bouncy castles and concerts to meals and in-depth discussions. One host venue will be the African-American Heritage Center at the Jefferson School. Andrea Douglas is the executive director.
ANDREA DOUGLAS: And our goal here is really to provide an opportunity for dialogue, for conversation, for all of our community to have an opportunity to take a look at each other. To come together, the particular groups, who define what Charlottesville is, who define who we are as a community.