In an interesting development, the Virginia State Police are disputing Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s claim that law enforcement in Charlottesville were ill-equipped against armed militia members at Saturday’s rally.
Reason Magazine reports:
In an interview Monday on the Pod Save the People podcast, hosted by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, McAuliffe claimed the white nationalists who streamed into Charlottesville that weekend hid weapons throughout the town.
“They had battering rams and we had picked up different weapons that they had stashed around the city,” McAuliffe told Mckesson.
McAuliffe’s comments were picked up by other news outlets and spread through social media. But Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, says that no such stashes were found.
“The governor was referring to the briefing provided him in advance of Saturday’s rally and the extra security measures being taken by local and state police,” Geller tells Reason. “As a safety precaution in advance of August 12, such searches were conducted in and around Emancipation and McIntire Parks. No weapons were located as a result of those searches.”
The Virginia State Police also disputed McAuliffe’s claims that Virginia State Police were underequipped to deal with the heavily armed militia members at Saturday’s rally.
“The governor was referencing the weapons and tactical gear the members of various groups attending the rally had on their persons,” Geller says. “I can assure you that the Virginia State Police personnel were equipped with more-than-adequate specialized tactical and protective gear for the purpose of fulfilling their duties to serve and protect those in attendance of the August 12 event in Charlottesville.”
Despite reports Charlottesville police were ordered to stand down after Left-wing group Antifa crashed the ‘Unite the Right’ protest, Gov. McAuliffe praised local law enforcement’s efforts. ‘Our police did a magnificent job’ in Charlottesville, said Gov. McAuliffe.
Daily Caller reports:
When asked by NPR’s David Green why law enforcement did not engage protesters when it appeared the situation got out of hand, McAuliffe responded:
“Now they had to be very careful. We had been planning for this for a while we had showed tremendous restraint because we knew we had a lot of intelligence these people all came armed. David I’ve never seen so many weapons.” The governor went on to say, “These people were wearing better gear than my own state police were wearing. They had body armor helmets. They were all…people walking around with semi-automatic rifles through the streets.”
“Well let’s be very clear let’s think about where we are today. Not one ounce of property damage not one person went to the hospital outside of the car incident which David you can’t protect against that. I mean but not one person went to the hospital from the rally. Not one ounce of property damage an not one single gunshot was fired,” McAuliffe said.
The governor then seized on the time to point the finger at the American Civil Liberties Union, who defeated the city of Charlottesville in court for white nationalists to be able to march in Emancipation Park, where a statue of Robert E. Lee was to be removed.
“I will tell you this, though, David, we asked – the city of Charlottesville – asked for that to be moved out of downtown Charlottesville to a park about a mile and a half away, a lot of open fields, that was the place that it should have been. We were unfortunately sued by the ACLU and the judge ruled against us. That rally should not have been in the middle of downtown…It became a powder keg. And we’ve gotta look at these permits and we’ve gotta look at where we put these rallies and protesters. I’ve got to protect public safety and our police did a magnificent job,” said the Virginia governor.
FOX News reporter Doug McKelway attended the violent protests Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
McKelway told FOX News viewers the police pulled out of Lee Park after the violence started.
The police told him, “We’re leaving. It’s too dangerous.”
This was after violent Antifa terrorists launched an attack on the white supremacists.
Doug McKelway: We are now beginning to hear criticism bubble up on all sides of this event about the initial slow response by the police. When I got out of my car yesterday in Charlottesville about 10:30 in the morning you knew this was a bad scene and bad things were going to be happening because people were congregating at Lee Park and Emancipation Park wearing helmets, body armor, carrying big heavy sticks. Nobody was intent on peace here from either side. People were intent on causing havoc and causing damage. And even as wounded were being brought out of the park police were sitting idly by. I was standing off a cordoned off area where the police had set up as a staging area, the state police, and they said you can come in here this is a safe area. But when the tear gas started to fly, thrown by protesters, the police themselves began to evacuate then. I asked the guy who was in charge, “Where you going?” He said, “We’re leaving. It’s too dangerous.” They had a chance to nip this thing in the bud and they chose not to.
McKelway also interviewed a police spokeswoman who said “people” were hurling soda cans filled with cement.
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This is an Antifa tactic.