Government of the people, by the people and for the people
A Video Based Community Web News Magazine Featuring People, Events and Issues in and around Charlottesville
Editor: Bob Fenwick
All content (except for photos pulled from YouTube and embedded links to national news organizations) copyright 2017 - 2019.
May 30, 2019. Tim Heaphy, primary author of what is known as the Heaphy Report, wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Daily Progress in response to criticism by an attorney for the Virginia State Police in a lawsuit arising out of the August 12, 2017 riots. What follows is the letter and the text of an email I sent out. Seems I riled some people up.
Letter to Editor, Tim Heaphy, Response to criticism of the Heaphy Report. Linked below is a Word document of the Letter to Editor published on May 30 in the print copy and the web copy of The Daily Progress. The day after I published this update to this website the electronic copy of the L2E was taken down from the DP website. ??????? I have a copy of the newspaper dated May 30.
Documents/Daily Progress, May 30, Letter to Editor, Heaphy, Virginia State Police.rtf
Email sent June 1 by Bob Fenwick to various members of the Charlottesville community.
Documents/Virginia State Police Responsibility on August 12.rtf
October 13, 2017 What follows is my attempt to report facts, primarily with video evidence, and give context based on my personal observations and past experience of the events of August 12, 2017 at the central park on East Market Street in Charlottesville, Virginia. This review is one of at least five, not counting the civil legal investigations. The cost for the other reviews varies from $340,000 (depending on whether or not the Governor's Task Force includes the political whitewash from James Baker of the International Police Chiefs Association, $40,000), an effort by Mary McCord of the Georgetown University Law School Public Law Center (Pro Bono), a review by Tim Heaphy of Hunton, Williams, cost undetermined at this time, an internal review by the Charlottesville Police Department and this one that you are reading. My cost out of pocket was $3.00 for the domain name. I have no cadre of lawyers, paralegals, government support. I'm doing this to preserve an historical record of what happened on that date to Charlottesville and to end the rumors and misinformation. I expect and welcome constructive criticism on my review since new information is coming in every day and I don't expect everyone to agree with me. Agreement is not my goal, understanding and acceptance of the facts of this unprecedented event and recovery for our city is.
THE KESSLER/RUSSIAN CONNECTION
20 March, 2018. Jason Kessler was in the County of Albemarle Circuit Court today to have a perjury charge adjudicated. Tagging along with him was a video team from Russia Today, RUPTLY, which is the video broadcast subdivision of Russia Today, a propaganda arm funded by the Russian government. Further down on this page you will find links to the Russian Connection to the White Supremacist movement. Kessler was interviewed by a correspondent from RUPTLY and some 'B Roll' (background footage) taken and the video is posted on YouTube. Nobody else was interviewed. Click here Kessler and his Russian friends. I wonder if the Putin regime is paying Kessler. Our city, state and federal governments should be paying very close attention to this situation.
The charge was subsequently dismissed on a technicality.
As of the date you are reading this the city has still not recovered. Any public forums, panels, committees, etc. that are held ostensibly to get our city back on its feet are characterized by comments that the citizens of Charlottesville did something wrong....what happened when 650 - 1,000 armed men marched down our streets brandishing weapons to intimidate us, when a member of that group opened fire on our citizens, when a participating member of that mob killed a young woman as she peaceably exercised her freedoms as an American citizen .... was somehow OUR fault. It wasn't and we won't attain a full measure of recovery until we publicly acknowledge that over and over and over again.
THEY CAME, WE SAW, WE CONQUERED
March 29, 2018, THE DAILY BEAST. less-than-a-year-after-charlottesville-the-alt-right-is-self-destructing?ref=scroll, Less than 7 1/2 months after the armed invasion of Charlottesville by white supremacists the Unite The Right effort has disintegrated. The thugs got what they wanted and it destroyed them. August 12, 2017 was not a day of shortcomings by our city and citizens, particularly our police force, but a day of heroism as thousands of unarmed citizens, many barely out of their teens, confronted evil of such treasonous venality to protect their friends, their homes and city and the bedrock beliefs of our system of government "...that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
April 21, 2018 dateline Richmond Washington Post, The Defeat of the Alt Right
AUGUST 12, 2017: THE DAY HATE AND CHAOS CAME TO CHARLOTTESVILLE
"IF YOU'RE NOT OUTRAGED, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION!" Heather Heyer, early August 12, 2017
Killed or seriously injured:
Lt. Jay Cullen
Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates
Plus more than 50 other citizens injured on August 12 and August 11 at The University of Virginia.
THE HEAPHY REPORT linked here The Heaphy Report
Simply put the Heaphy Review was a superficial, self serving, contradictory and incomplete political whitewash, sanitized to reach a predetermined conclusion, which will put the city of Charlottesville at greater risk if his primary recommendations are followed. Tim Heaphy was a litigator as a Federal Prosecutor and his report reads as an opening statement in a trial, a one sided presentation with no sworn statements to present and no rebuttal - just paid consultants' opinions and despite his stated claim for the truth his report is rife with personal opinions, contradictory conclusions and misstatements. Citing from the Preface and first 8 pages of the Heaphy Report........"We start with the facts as truth must be the foundation for any constructive effort to learn and improve"....."Our client (Charlottesville) made available to us whatever we requested."........"Our dialog must be constructive, not accusatory." p8......."a day largely filled with failure..." (by the CPD). On a number of occasions it's as if two or more people were writing this report and coming to different conclusions. It's not until page 176 after scores of uninformed opinions by Heaphy of the utter failure of virtually every public official that the Heaphy report grudgingly admits...."We spoke to a large number of people who praised the police response to these protest events." Reading the Heaphy Report you would think the Alt Right won the day! Not one Unite The Right event of any note followed this day. Not a bad word about the Alt Right militias and KKK armed thugs, and white supremacists and Nazis, anti Semites, etc. etc. Not a bad word about the Virginia State Police refusing to accept a subordinate role to a small town police force and basically dropping everything in the lap of the Charlottesville Police Department as the invasion was well under way. What was missing was a balanced, fair response from the police who were in the middle of it. Heaphy was nowhere near the chaos and has no experience to put what happened in context. This rewriting of 'the facts' is what is contributing to the difficulty of our city to put this tragedy behind us as we are constantly being told by self proclaimed 'leaders' that what happened was our fault not the invaders.
A more formal critique of The Heaphy Report will soon be up on www.CharlottesvilleTheMovie.com
The missing response in context from the senior leadership of the Charlottesville Police Department follows.
Police Capt. David Shifflett.rtf
Police Capt. Victor Mitchell.rtf
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
THIS is a 'well regulated militia'? Who regulates them? The citizens of Charlottesville somehow presented a threat to the security of a free State? Where? What free state were we threatening? This ragtag bunch of cowardly losers and blowhards did not match up to the minimum expectations of a 'well regulated militia'. These were not 'patriots' or even 'sunshine soldiers' ("These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country".......) Thomas Paine, 1776. These two clowns seem to have bump stocks on their AK-47's.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH? THE RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE? OUR LAWS ALLOW THIS? LOCKED AND LOADED (WITH MAGAZINES INSERTED) AND FINGERS AN INCH FROM THE TRIGGER? BULLET PROOF VESTS? WHY WERE THESE MEN AND OTHERS LIKE THEM NOT CHARGED WITH BRANDISHING A WEAPON WITH THE INTENT TO THREATEN OR INTIMIDATE OR BRANDISHING WITHIN 1,000 FEET OF A SCHOOL, A CLASS 6 FELONY? THAT'S FELLINI'S IN THE BACKGROUND.
This website is my attempt to explain what happened on Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a heavily armed contingent of approximately 650 men and a few women marched into our town, not to engage in a constitutional exercise of free speech but to intimidate, provoke and launch a national effort to 'Unite The Right', or 'to cause trouble' as a number of them have admitted online and on video tape. Their stated objective, plainly and frequently stated across internet platforms was 'to fight' '...to burn down the town...' and to unite militias, criminal biker gangs, white supremacists, Nazis, Communists, Fascists and just plain thugs and criminals into a dangerous force that would be used to challenge and overturn the basic principles of our country, among them that all men and women are created equal. They arrived armed with semi automatic rifles outfitted with 'bump stocks' similar to the AR-15 assault rifle issued to our military forces, pistols, batons, knives, shotguns, pepper spray, bricks, plastic liter bottles filled with acid or bleach and flags on flag poles to rally around which became lances upon the command of their 'officers'. Many of them had hundreds of rounds of ammunition, flak vests, helmets, heavy boots and gloves. Their units had hand held radios to communicate with and control their forces. Their organization had departments of political propaganda whose job it was to flood social media with general and personal threats to frighten and confuse our citizens, faith communities and businesses and with false information to disrupt our defensive planning and strategy. They made extensive use of the 'Dark Web', a secret part of the Web that is used for criminal activity. Most of their activity is supported financially by foreign governments, primarily Russia.
Their battle plan was to present to the world a group of clean shaven, polite, neatly dressed men, ordinary citizens, who merely wanted to state their support for white supremacy, opposition to our Constitution and Bill of Rights and who, once confronted by citizens who were opposed to these beliefs, would provoke a physical reaction but would not strike the first blow so any retaliation would be characterized as 'self defense'. Their actions amounted to a home invasion.
Why am I doing this compilation? My objective on August 12 was to videotape the event as a chronicle of events more reliable than eye witness accounts.
What are my credentials for doing this when there are already at least three announced reviews, one by the Charlottesville Police Department, one by Tim Heaphy of Hunton, Williams law firm and one convened by the governor of Virginia, and at least three filed lawsuits with the interrogatories and depositions and cross examination that go with them with more to come?
1) I have experience planning for and implementing large combat operations. I'm familiar with the coordination necessary for the planning process and I know that every plan changes once the 'boots hit the ground' so you have contingency plans as part of the overall planning process. My background includes a tour in Vietnam as the field commander of a combat engineer company, one of 3 maneuver combat engineer companies in the 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in the Central Highlands operating out of Pleiku and An Khe. In 1970 the 2nd Brigade of the Fourth Infantry Division was ordered into Cambodia in the vicinity of The Parrot's Beak to engage a North Vietnamese Regiment massing for an invasion into the Central Highlands. As an invasion force the 2nd Brigade was given an extra infantry battalion and I was given an extra combat engineer platoon, a total of 186 engineers to lead the American force numbering about 2,000 men into Cambodia. The plan was to launch the attack at dawn. The American advantage was helicopter insertions to leapfrog Viet Cong and NVA movements. We were grounded for 2 1/2 days by heavy fog and the entire plan had to change to reflect that. I'm familiar with the value of plans and how they can change at the last minute. At least in my situation we had a 'book' and 'best practices' to go by. On August 12 despite what you hear from so called experts who are basically trolling for work there was neither a 'book' nor 'best practices' to guide the city's preparations. There couldn't have been because nothing like this, on this scale, had ever occurred in this country since it's founding outside of a formal declaration of war as in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War and even in those two instances the clash was military against military and not military against ordinary relatively unarmed civilians.
2) For most of my videotaping I stationed myself at the bus shelter directly across from the park on East Market St. with the Wells Fargo building directly behind me and the Charlottesville/Albemarle Historical Society to my front right, two buildings that played an important role in my narrative. This location was ground zero for observing and understanding what happened.
3) I was not frightened or disturbed by what I saw when the opposing forces clashed. I'd seen it all before and to me it was similar to street brawls, bar fights, fights during sporting events such as ice hockey, fights during Army Basic Training, the noise, the chaotic nature, the weaponry, etc.
4) As a member of Charlottesville City Council I am familiar with the City Manager and his senior staff and I have seen them perform under pressure. I knew where some of the mobile city police officers and the National Guard's Military Police were staged, ready to go if called upon. I knew where the command center was and how long it would take a reinforcing force to get from their location to any spot on E. Market St. But I didn't know everything......and I didn't want to know everything. I didn't want to take the chance that I might inadvertently blurt an operational tactic or strategy that would put our citizens at risk. I knew that we, the city, do all our work in public. Any public statements, tweets, emails, etc. are known within minutes by the Alt Right. In fact one week subsequent to this invasion one member of City Council, solely for personal gain, had leaked a confidential memo to the press and two of the finest public servants this city has seen were slandered and their professional careers deeply wounded.
City leaders, staff and citizens were in contact with the Virginia State Police, cities around the country that had dealt with large protests, Federal agencies and First Responders, Police Departments from Central Virginia and The National Guard. At no time during the period between the Tiki torch rally in May through the armed invasion of August 12 did I feel that the City Manager was not giving his full professional attention to the potential and actual danger. They all know my background with planning and implementing large military operations and I spoke up in briefings but I never tried to steer the operational plan in any one direction. I left that to the men and women who have been trained in law enforcement and crowd and riot control. I did strongly support denying the Kessler permit but as August 12 came near there was no support from the legal community for denial and virtually no support from the legal community for moving the event to McIntire Park. There was near unanimous opinion that a Federal Court challenge to a denial or a removal to McIntire Park would result in a judicial order in Kessler's favor to hold the event in Lee Park/Emancipation Park which is what happened. 4 or 5 days before August 12 Kessler stated he was coming to Lee/Emancipation Park regardless of what the judge said. Charlottesville could not act contrary to a Federal Court Order.
5) Pursuant to an order by Federal Judge Glen Conrad, United States District Court, Western District, dated August 11, 2017, the City of Charlottesville was 'enjoined from revoking the plaintiff's (Jason Kessler's) permit to conduct a demonstration at Emancipation Park'. (We were ordered to allow the demonstration to take place in Emancipation Park.)
What follows are links to video I shot on August 12 starting around 10:30 AM from Court Square where the counter protesters were staging, to Market St. under the bus shelter right across the street from the park, a short clip after the event at Water St. and 1st St. South and a few minutes at the intersection of Water St. and Fourth St. where the 'lone wolf' terror attack occurred. The total video is about 36 minutes, broken into 5 parts.
This entire incident was not about Freedom of Speech. It was about Public Safety.
BRAVE STUDENTS RESPOND TO PROTECT THE STATUE OF THOMAS JEFFERSON IN FRONT OF THE ROTUNDA ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT, UVA August 11
KESSLER RALLY 1 https://youtu.be/qAcAKNBos-4
KESSLER RALLY 2 https://youtu.be/yHu82SOmXeo
KESSLER RALLY 3 https://youtu.be/K6W0QvfsaL0
KESSLER RALLY 4 https://youtu.be/mN7hJTmwQJA
KESSLER RALLY 5 https://youtu.be/DiO2ZiUPC2c
And here are links to a Newsweek article and a CNN report on who is behind these white supremacy, fascist, communist and KKK rallies. Remember the Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer and David Duke Tiki torch rally at the Lee statue on May 13 when they chanted "Russia is our friend. Russia is our friend."?
OBSERVATIONS AND THOUGHTS
Most people in our community and around the state and country have no idea of the sinister threat that is facing us. The groups that invaded our city on August 12 are very well funded (see the Newsweek link above), have been training for years (while most of us considered them goofballs and silly), their strategy was to show up, provoke those of us who objected to an outside force threatening the people and property of our city, and wait for us to react. We reacted. When we engaged they were ready with their video cams and smart phones and recorded and edited each reaction to illustrate their innocence and our violence. They were heavily armed, protected by home made shields, riot helmets, heavy boots and every 'soldier' carried a flag on a stick which became a lance upon command of their officers. They responded to military commands for advance and retreat and engagement. This event was in large part a unification and recruiting effort and their biggest mistake was they started too soon and they misjudged the response of Charlottesville citizens (and of the UVA students who bravely ringed the statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of the Rotunda the night before). The invading group had agreed to come into the park at noon, that's when their 'permit' was for. They came sometime around 10 AM or a little before. By the time I got there around 10:30 they had already broken through a line of clergy and were arrayed within the park and projectiles were being hurled from one side to the other.
There is more than ample evidence that Kessler's group was intent on inflicting physical violence from the blog posts that have been publicly posted. A comparatively mild blog string is linked below. There were even overt threats against public and private property ('we're going to burn the city down'). As the sheer number of threats mounted which indicated the Alt Right's following was swelling, the probability of their group embracing individuals with psychological issues or criminal pasts swelled as well which meant the chances of a serious incident rose exponentially. At least two individuals, Richard Preston and James Fields, have been arrested and charged with Class 2 felonies or Murder. Both remain in jail.
BROWN SHIRTS! My father and my uncles fought a war against this ideology. Now it's a weekend game to these clowns.
These are some of the questions and statements I've encountered in talking to many members of the public:
'The planning was defective or non existent. There was no unified command structure.'
It takes about 6 weeks of planning to prepare for a situation like this. We had a previous encounter with the KKK but that was dwarfed by what eventuated on August 12. The two strongest criticisms from the KKK event were city police being too noticeable (looking too much like police) and the deployment of tear gas. We did neither this time. This time the strongest criticisms are the police should have been more visible and they should have engaged sooner (which would have resulted in the deployment of tear gas and fragmentation of an already outnumbered city force). We critiqued the KKK rally and consulted with cities around the country on what to do and how to do it. Surrounding jurisdictions, public institutions like the University Hospital, First Responders from around the state, state and federal agencies all were involved. The number of involved entities is much higher than these few just mentioned.
The two men in charge of the city's planning and implementation were City Manager Maurice Jones and Chief Al Thomas. The buck stopped with Maurice. Our police force was fully engaged but with the threat of a much larger force of Alt Right thugs showing up that force was augmented by the Virginia State Police and the Virginia National Guard. In retrospect what happened on August 12 was in no respect a rally for Free Speech. The word that came to mind as I watched the day unfold was 'Insurrection'. This was a military operation on the part of the Alt Right - an armed invasion of our city - and military doctrine prefers a 3 - 1 advantage over an opponent - so with some federal and state estimates of potential Alt Right participants as high as 2,000 men we needed help from the State Police and National Guard which we got as attachments - and here is where some difficulties arose and where understanding the term 'Unified Command Structure' is important. When the state authorities mention 'Unified Command' what they are saying is the State Police should have been in charge with the city beneath them in the Chain of Command. In my judgment he Virginia State Police wanted control of the entire effort. The Virginia State Police, under the control of the Governor, consider themselves an elite law enforcement agency. They protect the top political leaders, they investigate major white collar crime, their Swat Teams are deployed around the state. They wear special hats, Smokey The Bear hats, to set them apart from other law enforcement personnel. They were not enthusiastic coming into a small town like Charlottesville and taking orders from someone they considered to be subordinate to them. Their primary task until they abandoned the joint plan developed over 6 weeks was to stand in front of the metal barriers and to go into any melee that occurred to separate the combatants or arrest individuals. As you can see from the videos their adopted task, assumed at literally the last minute after the city police had been deployed to their agreed upon positions, was to stand behind metal barriers as an observing force. This prompted many complaints that 'the police just stood there and did nothing', 'I asked for help but all I got were blank stares'. I understand these criticisms because I had three interactions with the State Police, two on August 12 on East Market St. and one the following day at Kessler's press conference. Two times I had important information I tried to get to the State Police and each time I was either ignored or given 'blank stares'. The only time I saw them move was to escort the leaders of the Alt Right from the park and after the lone wolf attack on 4th St. where I saw a contingent of State Police milling around aimlessly.
'The city and the police should have known the scope and intent of the threat.'
QUICK TO CRITICIZE, SLOW TO UNDERSTAND. Since no city invasion similar to this had ever happened in the history of our country that was an impossible task but apparently very easy to criticize by the whitewash review crafted by James Baker and presented to the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force with no apparent objection by Brian Moran the Secretary of Public Safety for Virginia. Within a day or two following that Saturday the efforts of the city were quickly criticized by the former Chief of Police Timothy Longo. There was no 'book' to go by nor 'best practices' to implement because this had never before happened. To equate escorting less than 40 tired old men dressed up in KKK Halloween costumes a month earlier to trying to control hundreds of heavily armed militia, white supremacists, etc. who publicly proclaimed they would do what they wanted to do and go wherever they wanted to go regardless of a Federal judge's decision is ludicrous.
The leadership team for the city of Charlottesville did a remarkable job of recognizing the Internet as a major factor in the runup, making judgments of what postings from the Alt Right were genuine and what were red herrings designed to thwart our planning and strategy. The lefties who were monitoring the Regular Net and the Dark Net were also providing intelligence and in many respects were gathering better intelligence than the FBI and the State Police. This was not a straight line threat. It grew day by day, almost from hour to hour and we would respond accordingly as the rhetoric from Richard Spencer, David Duke, and militias from across the country added to the uncertainty. By their nature these quasi 'military' outfits engage in political propaganda, purposefully sowing false information to thwart planning and panic and confuse citizens. They know what will push the buttons of the far Left (usually the use of police or the cost of citizen protection) and they push all of them.
The Alt Right (it's easier to use that designation than to continually list all the organizations and militias that showed up) has lawyers at the top echelons to continually seek weaknesses in municipal ordinances, constitutional arguments and media friends in the highest places to spread rumors, threats and false information.
Bad hair and lockjaw is a bad combination!
'The police were AWOL....they were nowhere to be found.'
There is a great deal of unwarranted anti city police rhetoric to which the purveyors are demanding instant answers, e.g. 'the police were AWOL' - no, they were out of sight, a prudent strategy not just as a preemptive de-escalation tactic to limit the movement options of the armed militias (as the ACLU had been demanding), but to minimize police visibility. What follows are my conclusions based on what I saw and what I know of military type strategy. There were basically three police forces, the city police who were the mobile force, the state police who were the intervening force and the National Guard (Military Police) who filled in the gaps. I have no question the decision not to put the city police in the streets was the correct strategy. The prior month the success by the city of controlling a noxious group of white supremacists was overshadowed by a group of leftist anarchists determined to provoke the police into a response they could use to their advantage. The resulting deployment of police in protective gear and the use of tear gas brought instant and heavy criticism by the ACLU.
Before the invading force arrived in town I believed there would be gunfire. After I saw how heavily armed they were I was certain of it. If gunfire had broken out during a mob situation the result could have been tragedy which would have been compounded if a local police officer had been responsible for the injury or death to a citizen of the city.
'I needed help and asked the police and they looked right through me'. And 'there were fights breaking out and the police did nothing to intervene'.
There is some truth to this but those 'actions' or inactions were on the part of the State Police who were deployed as basically a blocking force. They are the ones who stood behind metal barriers. On perhaps the most consequential day in the history of the City of Charlottesville the State Police showed up late for their positions and declared "We are off the plan. We have our own plan." This is after 6 weeks of planning across the Commonwealth. Their job was to prevent serious injury or death and yet they stood mute as Richard Preston fired at Corey Long right in front of them. And yet James Baker has publicly stated "The State Police were prepared, the City Police were not." and Tim Heaphy stated at the end of his press conference prior to the public release of his report "The State Police did a tremendous job."
I had three 'interactions' with the Virginia State Police. Here are several of them.
On August 12 I was located on E. Market St. next to two young men whom I did not recognize and who were standing on the bench under the bus shelter across from the park. From their dress and behavior mocking some of the lefties milling around in front of them I took them to be with Kessler's group. They were looking down to their left and my right as if they wanted to be sure I didn't disturb anything. I looked down to my right and next to my foot was a half of a brick with a black zip tie around it. I've been in construction for over 50 years and I had never seen anything similar to this especially in this context so I put my foot on it. When I did this one of the two young men said, "Don't worry about that. We'll take care of that." With projectiles flying back and forth and my suspicion that the two young men and the brick were related I said, "No, you won't. I'll get rid of it." And picked it up. Within seconds I realized my standing in the middle of a volatile and uncertain situation holding a brick was not the smartest thing to do. Behind me and behind metal barriers the State Police were lined up blocking the Wells Fargo building. I tried to catch their attention by yelling at them and showing them the brick. Once again after several attempts to get their attention and being ignored I realized brandishing a brick at the State Police was not good policy. I didn't want to just toss it over the barrier figuring one of them might misinterpret that act. Finally a young trooper made eye contact and holding up the brick I yelled "You've got to take this. It can't remain over here." He broke ranks, moved forward, and I handed him the brick. That was the only time I saw the State Police break ranks on August 12 or the following day. I suspect the young trooper was disciplined for doing that but I appreciated his acknowledgement and action. As I turned back to the melee in front of me one of the two young men said, "Thank you, sir." and within seconds had moved off. Nobody calls me 'sir' unless they're mad at me. I had never seen these two before or after. I knew that a major strategy of the Alt Right was to fabricate false confrontations, situations and explanations or justifications, video tape them and post them to Social Media outlets. Before nightfall on August 12 the Alt Right had published articles claiming the terrorist attack on 4th St. had been fabricated and never happened.
The second and most
disturbing interaction with the State Police was the shot fired by Richard
Preston, pictured below from an
ACLU video. The bush you see on the left above the two children is directly on the southwest corner of the park across the street from the funeral parlor. A stationary line of State Police blocked the street from the bush to the funeral home behind metal barriers. The only job of the SP was to physically block and each trooper was to observe the sector directly in front of him. With everybody else in the picture looking directly at the shooter how was it that no report from the State Troopers was ever made about the shot occurring directly in front of them? And why within seconds of the shot were they pointing at me and talking to each other as I filmed them?.....and then, realizing I had just filmed them watching a crime being committed with no action on their part did one of them immediately vacate the line and go to the rear? This is all on the video.
How did the State Police miss this? They were 20 feet away and looking in his direction! Don't believe me? Click here. https://youtu.be/4BK0p2m-Qa8
To see the shot fired and the reaction of the State Police go to Kessler Rally 3 at the 8:14 mark and then to Kessler Rally 4 from the beginning to the 2:00 minute mark and observe the actions of the State Police.
'When DeAndre Harris was being beaten the police stood by and did nothing.'
'When DeAndre Harris was being beaten the police were nowhere to be found.' I heard both statements within minutes of each other at the first City Council meeting after August 12.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH?
I saw photos of the beating and did not see any police (state, city or military) in the vicinity. In the photo I've seen of 4 or 5 men beating DeAndre with sticks there are several men dressed in black standing and watching. Among the participants in the mayhem that day there were several groups or individuals who were dressed in black, Antifa members (they would not have been standing and watching, they would have been engaged in the tussle in some manner), the State Police and City Police, both of whom wore distinctive insignia and lettering identifying them as such (it's unlawful to present yourself as a law enforcement officer with deliberately confusing clothing).....these men watching the beating had no such visible identification. Then there were private security guards who at first glance appeared to be police officers but had no identifying insignia or lettering except for a shoulder patch with the name of the security firm on it. There were a number of these security people around town......I had seen one at the Jewish Synagogue. Personal bodyguards also were dressed in black. Richard Spencer had one when he was surrounded by State Police as he was fleeing the park, distinguishable by his soft cap while the State Police all wore riot helmets. A number of Alt Right participants also wore black shirts which enabled them to mingle with the citizenry unchallenged. I believe the men dressed in black seen off to the side of the photo were private security guards or personal body guards. They were not city police officers.
'The protesters and counter protesters should have been separated.'
They were. As seen in the videos linked above, aside from the initial push into the park, and another push later the two sides were approximately 30' plus or minus apart. The Kessler group had about a quarter of the park set apart with barriers. The only time when that distance closed was when Kessler's group decided to sally forth onto the street to provoke responses to videotape. They came out of the park in a formation of 8 - 10 armed men, marched up or down E. Market St. with Confederate, Nazi, KKK or White Supremacist flags to provoke the citizenry, videotaped any clashes and then retreated into the park. They did this a number of times.
'The (city) police pushed the Alt Right protestors out onto the street directly into the midst of the counter protesting citizens.'
This is mostly correct but the Alt Right wanted the confrontations, had marched into the park by this same route and during the clashes they had purposefully sent 'sorties' out into this same street (East Market St.) to obtain propagandist video for recruiting purposes. These are in my videos.
There are two entrances into the park, from East High St. on the north side and East Market St. on the south side. If the Alt Right protestors had been pushed out the north side they would have been pushed into the North Downtown neighborhood one block from the Jewish Temple which they had vowed to burn down, right into at least three Christian churches, the Court Square area and a number of private schools.
'The police should have broken up the fights. They should have been on the street.'
'Why didn't the police keep the two sides separated?'
The fights were spontaneous, their locations unpredictable, 30 seconds max, where the counter protesters tried to steal a flag or a lance and consisted mostly of pushing and shoving. For someone who had no history with protest marches or clashes they appeared frightening and unnerving. I have seen similar engagements at parties, schools, on the ball field, in the service. The worst I saw in the videos I shot was a knock to the head of a white supremacist by a leftie using a bike helmet as a club. It was delivered to a person who had a Nazi helmet on and was similar to a head to head tackle in football. I saw no blood or debilitating injury. If the police had been on the street Kessler's group would have simply gone to a spot that had no police not to mention they would have been surrounded by Antifa and angry citizens, not a good strategy. The police would then have to work their way through the crowd. A month earlier members of SURJ had linked arms and blocked the street to prevent the police from moving.
There are members of our community who have issues with the police and one of the strategic goals of this 'Unite The Right' event was to use that discontent to create and encourage dissatisfaction with our city government and its departments. The Alt Right will work to distract us from the danger they represent by whatever means necessary. I would suggest the threat (promise) of physical violence is a very clear and very present danger which does bring physical harm to those they target and our focus should be on defeating the Alt Right first.
Above picture of Klu Klux Klan rally in July. There were less than 40 mostly older men being protected by the city police. If the city police hadn't been there those old men would have been seriously injured and mortally wounded both men and women. The KKK had no visible weapons and their route into the former Jackson Park was about one block from their staging area, coming from one direction and leaving in one direction. On August 12 the Alt Right came into the former Lee Park from all directions 800 strong from up to a half mile away.
'Charlottesville was asked but refused to provide security for the single Jewish synagogue in the city and the synagogue had to hire a security guard at its own expense.'
I know this is patently false because I was at the synagogue before and after the rally, made arrangements at the request of the daughter of one of the congregants and made sure they knew I would be a minute away throughout the day if they had concerns. Please hit this link for a more detailed explanation. CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE
'It was not a big deal that the Alt Right was armed. It is perfectly legal in Virginia for 'open carry' and 'concealed carry' weaponry and besides the Alt Left was armed as well to the point that they had 'flame throwers'.
It IS a big deal (a Class 6 Felony) to brandish a weapon in public for the purpose of intimidation or threat. As you can see from the videos virtually every person in the group of white supremacists, Nazis, Communists, KKKers and thugs was armed, most with a multitude of weapons. To promote this idea of 'moral equivalence' of high powered rifles, shotguns, pistols, tactical knives etc. to a broom handle and a can of hair spray ignited with a barbecue lighter is ludicrous if for no other reason than the effective range of an AR - 15 assault rifle is 500 yards and the danger of a firearm is magnified in a crowd as compared to the effective range of a can of hair spray which is a little under 3 ft. I know because I used lit hair spray to go after cockroaches in college never recognizing I was using a weapon of war.
'Why didn't the city know ahead of time that Kessler would change plans at the last minute?'
Please take a deep breath and read the above question to yourself 3 times, paying close attention to the words. This question illustrates the deep wound that the citizens of Charlottesville suffered and the difficulty those of us who have a public forum have in offering explanations and facts to the community. Some people just aren't listening and considering a video backed review drawn from first hand involvement in the chaos. It's as if a psychosis has settled across our city. As a combat veteran who served in South Vietnam I was skeptical of talk of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because I never felt any different when I returned from overseas. But I've seen it in Charlottesville. I've seen it in the eyes of friends as they scan whatever area we happen to be in for anything unusual. I've heard it in their voices as they challenge my explanation of something that happened on August 12 when they can see it for themselves. And I've noticed it in the ease with which they offer alternatives to the strategy that our senior leadership deployed as we talk in a quiet place quite different than the din and clamor, the imminent threats, the fear and uncertainty of a street riot.
Other citizens take this opportunity to address grudges they may have about city management including a former police chief who, on August 13, gratuitously and unprofessionally criticized the planning and execution of a plan for an event that he didn't even attend - an event that ten weeks later appears to be the high water mark of a detestable advocacy. Nothing since then has come close to the threat and danger of August 12, up to and including two events in Tennessee, the first of which in Shelbyville, held in a wide open intersection far from residential areas, churches, schools and business centers, had about 30 white supremacists (none that I could see had rifles or knives). The second rally planned for Murfreesboro was cancelled when the cowardly 'patriots' heard over a thousand counter protesters were waiting for them. In cancelling that event the organizer said Murfreesboro was a 'lawsuit trap'. He's correct. We got knocked off our feet on May 13 but we got back up and now our challenge is to focus on the enemy and not our own public officials. In Charlottesville I saw former mayors and state representatives at ground zero. I did not see Garrett, anybody other than myself from City Council or former Police Chief Tim Longo at any of the 5 areas where I videotaped.
'Why are we not getting answers/information from City Manager Maurice Jones and Police Chief Al Thomas and City Council?'
The city is getting information from one councilor....information written and visual ..... offering my email link for any critical comments or any links to particularly egregious city police conduct. To date (November 29) I have gotten none. It is nearly impossible to reconstruct the events of a chaotic, dangerous, deadly event particularly when personal injury lawyers are ready to pounce on any inartful statement by a public official. If information is put out too early subsequent discoveries could moot initial beliefs and then we have one additional concern to address....'what are you trying to hide', 'but why didn't you do this instead of that'. That is the potential damage that was my concern when a city councilor tried to throw the city manager and the chief of police under the bus for purely personal ambition. If that cowardly, anonymous attack had been left unanswered the city would have been liable for tens of millions or a hundred million dollars in damages for injuries suffered because of the accusation of misfeasance or malfeasance in office.
As can be seen in the aftermath of any large scale national disaster (Houston, Texas, after the hurricane or Las Vegas after the shooter) or riot (Berkeley, California, Charlottesville) the first reports are media clips of the damage and/or chaos played over and over or 'looped' as it's called and interviews with people adversely affected by whatever just happened. These images sell newspapers and increase 'clicks' on websites. I don't say this to disparage attempts to chronicle events just to make the point that these first reports set the narrative, setting the stage for community beliefs that may not be true; for example, the 'stand down' narrative in which police were accused of doing nothing while counter protesters were beaten or the immediate, unnecessary and irresponsible response from a former police chief that the strategy of the police was flawed without distinguishing the different police forces - in effect saying the city police department was responsible for the chaos. Jason Kessler was primarily responsible for the death, the injuries and the damage to the city as were the other defendants listed in Mary McCord's civil suit. There were 3 police forces involved, city police, state police and National Guard soldiers many of whom were military police or MPs and many other agencies, First Responders, Fire Departments, etc. all of whom were attached as units to the effort but none of them except for the city police, fire and rescue squads TRAINED by the city.
Some of the anarchists who come into council meetings to protest would not be satisfied with any answer offered. In one exchange between myself and an anarchist the question was asked "Where were the police? Why were they not on Market St. between the two sides?" I tried to explain they were a mobile force on call to respond to a serious event anywhere plus they were stationed on the downtown mall to protect the business district. The response to that was, "I knew it. You are more concerned about buildings than people." Apparently the young lady who said that was unaware that the downtown mall besides being our commercial center is home to hundreds of residents who would have been trapped in old buildings if the Alt Right had precipitated a riot on the mall.
There is no question that the lower income residents who depend on the government for help have been squeezed by their city council who will shovel millions of dollars into West Main, the SIA, a rewrite of this policy or that policy, another out of town consultant. To conflate that and other issues with the performance of senior leaders during August 12 is to lose sight of who the enemy is here. We serve no good purpose, in fact we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, by eating our own. This is more than a Charlottesville issue. It is a Commonwealth issue. The small city of Charlottesville is fighting a national battle. We have two local judges who are carrying the burden of separating guilt from innocence but it will take all of us working together to defeat this threat. We are making progress and when we prevail we will be in a better position to address the social justice issues. On August 12 the city was invaded by an armed force. We didn't ask for this. They imposed it on us. They invaded our home and we resisted.
'I didn't know there would be violence. Why didn't the city warn us?'
There were 3 events that rocked the city in 2017 - May 13 Tiki torch rally in the park, July 8 KKK rally, August 11 and 12 Kessler rally. The initial tiki torch rally in which white supremacists chanted 'Russia is our friend' stunned the community that grown men would publicly advocate such beliefs in the dark of night in a manner meant to mimic a Ku Klux Klan rally. In short order the July and August white supremacists, Nazis, KKK, unlawful militias and Russian agents scheduled additional rallies in Charlottesville. The KKK rally was a pathetic, almost comical parade of old men dressed up in Halloween costumes. If the KKK had weapons they were hidden for the most part. The city had consistently warned people of the threat of violence and yet in the quarter hour before the rally was to start I was stunned to see families heading up to the park with children as if parents wanted their children to see something historic and weird. At neighborhood meetings I have had men and women who hold important position in city commissions and boards dispute that warnings had been given through all the media including the Internet. One woman in a meeting (who had told me that the city had kept citizens in the dark about the possibility of violence) told me in the same breath that she deliberately avoided going to the park for fear of what was going to happen. ????? If she was kept in the dark how did she know something was going to happen? This makes no sense.
'There was an order given to police to stand down, primarily as a result of criticism of the police actions during the KKK rally.'
There was no order to 'stand down'. If there were I would have heard about it. The organization that filed the lawsuit claiming damages because of a 'stand down' order is merely trolling for publicity, more business and money. That lawsuit will go nowhere. Charlottesville has for some time been trying to implement 'Community Policing' which is a strategy of minimizing arrests and jail or prison time by first attempting to deescalate difficult situations and implementing alternative measures of keeping the peace or alternatives to incarceration. I believe the strategy was to use the Charlottesville Police as a mobile force to react to specific serious incidents. If the Charlottesville Police had been in the streets with both sides milling around that would probably have initiated a riot with multiple gun battles.
What actually happened was a betrayal by the Virginia State Police on the orders of an as yet unnamed individual. The morning of the 12th as the Alt Right was marching into our town the Virginia State Police showed up late and declared they were "...off the plan". Despite working for over 4 weeks on a joint plan under the command of Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas with the Charlottesville Police Force, the Reserve National Guard, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies when the VSP moved into place to take their positions in front of the metal barriers in order to break up any fights or quickly respond to gunfire the VSP ground commander ordered her troops to station themselves behind the barriers telling CPD officers "I'm not going to send my troops into that mess." (Heaphy Report). That left Chief Al Thomas with less than 95 officers whose job it was to be a mobile reaction force to fill the role of primary interveners to violent clashes. What I have just written is documented in the Heaphy Report around page 76.
'What happened to the investigation into the helicopter going down?'
There is a published preliminary report dated Sept.15, 2017 by the Federal Aviation Administration that "...no evidence was observed to suggest that the helicopter was struck by another aircraft, animal or object." To date (June 10, 2018) there is no final report posted on the FAA website or the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
A better question prompted by James Baker's assertion that the State Police were prepared would be "If the State Police were prepared who gave the order that sent two troopers into a defective helicopter to hover for 4 - 5 hours?" And if the State Police were prepared why did they show up late after the Alt Right protesters had started arriving at the park the morning of August 12 and declare "We are off the plan" and unilaterally implement a different plan than agreed upon? Or if they were prepared or in the words of Tim Heaphy "...did a tremendous job" why did they stand passively 20 feet away as Richard Preston aimed and fired at Corey Long? Or why did they ignore two immediate reports of that shooting made by a former mayor of Charlottesville to the Virginia State Police on site? And why did it take the Governor almost an hour to agree with the on ground commander to invoke an 'unlawful assembly'? And, finally, who at the state level gave the order to unilaterally ignore the agreed upon plan of action?
The City of Charlottesville, businesses, individuals, neighborhood associations have joined in a legal action against the right wing participants' armed invasion to prevent the return of militias. Please follow the link to read the pleading http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/centers-institutes/constitutional-advocacy-protection/upload/lawsuit-charlottesville.pdf. SPOILER ALERT!!! This lawsuit is one of the best reads you will come across. It is a comprehensive, gripping account of what the citizens of Charlottesville faced.
Here is a link to what has been called 'The Heaphy Report'. The Heaphy Report
On October 26, 2017, a request for the impaneling of a Special Grand Jury to investigate the criminal acts of the armed force, the men and the organizations that invaded our city was submitted to the Charlottesville Circuit Court. This makes 4 legal actions filed or requested against the invaders, three of which are civil actions and the fourth, the Special Grand Jury, would be a criminal investigation.
Background to request for a Special Grand Jury
The City has alleged in its civil case against the August 12 invaders that the invaders created a public nuisance and that they plan to do so repeatedly in the future. That civil case aimed at the militias is proactive. Its purpose is to curtail future appearances by illegal militias in Charlottesville. What has now been proposed and requested also alleges a public nuisance on August 12, but its purpose is to investigate and consider criminal indictments for the actions of the perpetrators of illegal acts. The crimes committed that day, as alleged by the City in its civil case, were (1) public nuisance, (2) unlawful paramilitary activity, (3) falsely assuming the functions of peace officers and/or other law enforcement officers.
Letter to the Judge of the Charlottesville Circuit Court, October 26, 2017:
Pursuant to Article 48, Paragraph 1, The Code of Virginia
The undersigned (or attached) hereby file a complaint about the public nuisance resulting in damage to the people of Charlottesville from the operations and tactics organized and conducted by Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, David Duke and their organizations and other connections resulting in financial and personal injury resulting in an ongoing public nuisance to the residents and the city government of the City of Charlottesville, Virginia. We request that the Judge of the Charlottesville Circuit Court, the Honorable Richard Moore, convene a Special Grand Jury to investigate this public nuisance and to take proper action upon the completion of that investigation including appropriate restitution.
Internet link https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/48-1/
The basis in Virginia law for this:
CODE OF VIRGINIA, Section 49-1, Investigation of complaint by Special Grand Jury.
When complaint is made to the Circuit Court of any county, or the Corporation Court of any City of this Commonwealth, by 5 or more citizens of any county, city or town, setting forth the existence of a public or common nuisance, the court, or the judge thereof in vacation, shall summon a Special Grand Jury, in the mode provided by law, to the next term of such court, to specially investigate such complaint.
Code 1919, Section 1520
I have requested that the petition be sealed to protect the identity of the signatories.
It is frustrating to me that many citizens are unable to understand what we faced was akin to a military invasion and for some reason hold our own neighbors responsible for what happened when what we did was stand up to an armed, invading force. We refused to stand idly by as a hateful, bigoted ideology, publicly predicated on human slavery, was used to threaten our citizens. What would those who criticize the actions of our young and disenfranchised have us do? What would be a more noble course of action than to live the promise and goals of our founding documents? Being raised and living in Virginia most of my life, I am well aware of our history and the men and women who built this country and this state and this community. In the context of August 12, 2017 I recall a portion of a speech made by Patrick Henry at the Second Convention of Delegates, Richmond, Virginia, March 23, 1776. It is known as the 'Give me liberty, or give me death' speech.
"They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?"
Finally, there are times in my life when the spirit and bravery of American citizens of all races, cultures, sexes, age, whatever stuns me. August 12 was one of those times. In the face of hate and actions totally abhorrent and contrary to our national aspirations the citizens of our city, many of whom had been warned by their small group leaders who were keenly aware of the danger and possibility that some of them might not make it through the day (....if they were not ready to lose their life they should not march...."), set out to face a clear and credible threat without precedent in our country. There are many untold stories of the efforts of the lefties both formal and informal and the contributions they made to protect our city that will come out in the near future. For their actions in resisting and confronting they deserve admiration and appreciation and that includes Antifa and Black Lives Matter and SURJ and Indivisible which 'organizations' James Baker has termed 'agitators'. They were not and are not agitators. They are protectors and defenders of our Constitution. I've heard too many accounts and seen numerous instances of Antifa and BLM protecting Charlottesville citizens who found themselves in dangerous situations. Once again this criticism of Antifa has the stench of a moral equivalency of an invading force heavily armed being resisted by an equal but opposite force on neutral grounds when in fact the opposing force was a citizenry carrying sticks as their weapon and the ground we met on was our home...check my videos if you think I'm exaggerating. We carry no blame for what happened on August 12. We didn't invade the Alt Right's cities and towns. They invaded us. Now it is up to the rest of us to move forward. It is up to us to 'write the Book' on what really happened and to 'articulate Best Practices' so we'll be ready for the next time because right now they don't exist.
So here are the conclusions:
Who in the Virginia Governor's office gave the order to the Virginia State Police in the early morning of August 12 to ".....go off plan.....and execute their own secret plan" exposing the citizens and the city of Charlottesville to great harm and death?
Why did the Virginia State Police engage in a shameful act of malfeasance when they are sworn to protect the citizens and governments of Virginia? Was their failure on August 12, 2017 to perform their sworn duty of public safety due to an effort to provide political cover? Was the decision to go off plan a political decision or was it a strategic or tactical decision?
Why has Secretary Moran of the Virginia Department of Health and Public Safety persisted in ascribing blame for the treasonous actions and subsequent crimes of August 12 not to the Alt Right criminals, purposefully ignoring the unforgivable conduct of Virginia State Police to implement their own secret operational plan, but to our local police force and the young counter protestors who faced death and crippling injuries in confronting an armed mob of rag tag thugs when he is well aware that there was a secret plan known only to the State Police for them to abandon the operational plan agreed upon which gave the State Police the responsibility for "....sending arrest teams into the street."
What is the conclusion of the National Transportation and Safety Board as to the cause of the helicopter crash that took 2 lives on the afternoon of August 12? As of the date of this posting it has been over 2 years and 2 months since the fatal accident happened and their investigation results have not been released.
I have twice appealed to the Charlottesville Circuit Court to empanel a Special Grand Jury, once in October 2017 with a formal petition filed in the Clerk of Court's office, paid for and assigned a case number, and a second time in November of 2018 in open court. Both petitions were to investigate and determine who is responsible for the planning and execution of the criminal actions, felonies, of August 12, 2017. To this date (May 25, 2019) I have not heard one word from the Charlottesville Circuit Court on either formal petition. Have the men responsible for the damage to our city and citizens faced accountability or are they still walking among us free to plot and scheme their next criminal act perhaps around whatever memorial event the city plans for the approaching remembrance of August 12?
The Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia as a non political body of jurisprudence should appoint a neutral investigative special prosecutor or panel with subpoena power to investigate and take testimony under oath where the responsibility lies for the damage done to the citizens and city of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Since the Virginia State Police behaved in such a shameful non performance of their duty and by this abrogation caused numerous injuries and deaths to innocent people (those counter protestors involved in the assaults of August 11 and 12, 2017) and since scores of citizens have incurred substantial medical expenses from the University of Virginia Hospital which they will never be able to pay, the Governor of Virginia should immediately and completely 'comp' any and all medical expenses related to these actions.
Additional or corrected information will be posted as necessary.
Let's start with a taste of what's on the Net http://restoringthehonor.blogspot.com/2017/01/virginia-flagger-supporter-says-bob.html (no viruses, has been swept by Cville IT)
What gives me the right to present this review to the citizens of Charlottesville? First and foremost I am a citizen of the city. I have raised a family here and worked with and for the community. This is my right as it is the right for anyone to post an opposing view. We have to learn from this. Below are my Officer Efficiency Reports from my service in South Vietnam which includes the invasion into Cambodia. I include these on this site to present my credentials to contextualize the planning and implementation of the defense of our city.