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December 19, 2017

DAILYKENN.com -- Many believe the police chief's stand-down order was directly responsible for violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. 

The city was the cite of a "unite the right" rally in which white people had the audacity to exert themselves. 

From washingtonpost.com ▼

Charlottesville police chief resigns in wake of report on white-supremacist rally

Charlottesville Police Chief Alfred Thomas resigned abruptly Monday, just 17 days after the release of a report that was highly critical of the police department’s handling of a white-supremacist rally in August that turned deadly in the Virginia city.

The 207-page report prepared by Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, concluded that the department was ill-prepared, lacked proper training and had a flawed plan for managing the Unite the Right rally that drew hundreds of neo-Nazis and white nationalists to Charlottesville on Aug. 12 and resulted in violent clashes with counterprotesters. The lack of adequate preparation led to “disastrous results,” Heaphy wrote.

Thomas, an Air Force veteran who previously was chief of police in Lexington, Va., had led the Charlottesville agency since May 2016. He was the city’s first black police chief.

“Nothing in my career has brought me more pride than serving as the police chief for the city of Charlottesville,” Thomas said in a news release. “I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly. It truly has been an unparalleled privilege to work alongside such a dedicated and professional team of public servants. I wish them and the citizens of Charlottesville the very best.”

From nbc29.com ▼

A contentious Charlottesville City Council meeting erupted in City Hall Monday night as the city manager insists Charlottesville’s first black police chief was not forced out of a job.

This comes with less than two weeks until new city councilors Heather Hill and Nikuyah Walker are set to be sworn in. Walker attended the meeting and spoke defiantly as a community member, saying there is no way that’s the entire story.

"There is no way that Chief Thomas walked out of here voluntarily,” Walker said to the crowd. “There will be no healing until this type of stuff stops happening."

She and others are calling into question the official statement from City Hall: That Thomas voluntarily retired, effective immediately.

“Yes accountability, but is that how we are going to enforce accountability? The only person that is being held accountable at this point is a black man, so do any of you really understand what white supremacy is?” Walker said.

City Manager Maurice Jones says their story is the truth.

“It was Chief Thomas' decision to step down immediately. and that was his decision,” Jones said. “He can share whatever comments we had in our private conversation with you if he chooses to do that, I'm not going to do that for him,” Jones said.

Walker says Charlottesville Police Maj. Gary Pleasants should not be interim chief.

"This is not the time to follow protocol. There is no trust there, long term and there is definitely no trust there after the report,” Walker said.

Walker says the independent review conducted shows Pleasants ordered tear gas used on counter demonstrators at the July 8 KKK rally.

“When we are talking about moving forward in the city and how that looks, this is not a good start, it is absolutely unacceptable and you are digging deeper into the problems,” Walker said.

Pleasants will be acting as chief until an interim chief will be named within the next week.


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