Council Hears Complaints About Police During Rally

Jul 18, 2017

Of the 15 residents speaking at last night’s city council meeting in Charlottesville, 13 complained about the militarization of the Charlottesville police at the KKK counter-protests on July 8th.  WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini reports.

[Mayor Mike Signer opens the meeting]

Charlottesville citizens came forward to ask for de-escalation training for the police, following what they believed had been unnecessary violence towards the protesters. They also asked for the revocation of the permit of the Alt-Right to gather in Charlottesville on August 12th, which they say is a matter of public safety for the city’s residents. Mary Bauer, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Justice Center, also asked for an investigation into the police tactics on July 8th.

City Manager Maurice Jones then traced back the unfolding of events to explain why they went the way they did. Several people left the Chambers, disappointed in his response.

[Activist shouting]

He also reminded the citizens that they could file a complaint against the City.

MAURICE JONES: There were individual issues that were brought up this evening about ways that individuals were treated as part of this. They can file complaints with the City, and those will be investigated. There is a process by which we investigate those things. The Chief is looking at all the video evidence from that day, and he will compile that into a report that will come to the City Council for future consideration.

As for revoking the permit, the city cannot do anything of the sort due to the First Amendment. He noted:

JONES: We are not defending the speech. We are defending their right to speak.