Yesterday morning's parade in Charlottesville of Nazis, KKK members and other assorted degenerates on the right quickly devolved into attacks by them -- using clubs, flag staffs, brass knuckles, and pepper spray -- on counter protesters lining the route. Near the entrance to Emancipation Park, which temporarily has the statue of treasonous Confederate Robert E. Lee, a pitched battle was instigated by the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville looking for a fight and feeling emboldened by their President. Look at the photo above, one of many of that confrontation. Where are the local, county or Virginia State police? Where are the police cordons separating the white supremacists from the people they were hungry to attack? Invisible.
Later in the day, Virginia State police in riot gear did clear he park of white supremacists after an "unlawful assembly" was declared, but only after the pitched street battle. As the day wore on, police in force manned intersections and public spaces to discourage further incidents.
Hindsight is 20/20 and this was an explosive situation for the police, but local authorities had ample warning of many hundreds of violent white supremacists descending on Charlottesville and might have started the day with a show of force. The escalation of violence by the bigots led to the death of a woman among the counter protesters by a young fascist from Ohio, aa well as two state police officers who died in the line of duty when their helicopter crashed as they monitored the scene. Shouldn't the responsible public officials have been better prepared to deal with the violent neo-Nazis from the beginning?
I personally saw Ferguson police use crushing force against protesters for much less than what the Nazis in Charlottesville are doing today.— caffe latte person (@AdamSerwer) August 12, 2017
I was at Ferguson & Baltimore. Trying to imagine police response there if protesters had the artillery the #Charlottesville rioters have.— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) August 12, 2017
The police had the advantage of observing the Nazis' behavior from the night before, when...
The Nazis in #Charlottesville were literally beating people w/ torches, yet no police in riot gear. Hmm, wonder why. pic.twitter.com/wxuGGBEuML— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) August 12, 2017
Perhaps the police would rather side with the Nazis than with the Black Lives Matter folks in the counter demonstration? Askin' for friends.
BONUS II: Propublica looks into the police passivity in the Charlottesville mayhem.
(photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)