Source: Who.What.Why.org/Peter Dale Scott “Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.org”
In the major moral crisis growing out of Charlottesville, a lot of attention has been paid to Trump’s lack of leadership.
But the whole nation has a stake in a related matter, the inaction of the local police.
The Charlottesville Police Department was not caught unawares. It had anticipated a crowd of from 2,000 to 6,000 people and had promised a presence with assistance from the Virginia State Police.
Yet when violence and bloodshed broke out at Emancipation Park, witnesses complained to the New York Times that “There was no police presence…. We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching.”
A.C. Thompson, a reporter for ProPublica, saw repeated instances of this police inertia:
At about 10 a.m. [August 12], at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible. Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.