On the ground: Witnesses say police stood by during Charlottesville clashes
By Brian Seay
As the fallout from Charlottesville continues to grip the nation, many are questioning the police response at Saturday’s white nationalist rally, prompting the city’s police chief to defend the actions of his officers during a press conference Monday.
It was a battle scene, wrote an Associated Press reporter in a firsthand account of what it was like on the ground.
“Despite the extended, violent skirmishes…I never witnessed an officer step in,” said AP reporter Sarah Rankin, who noted that state police made three arrests.
Rankin described pockets of fighting breaking out, only to be broken up by the comrades of those fighting — not police.
“The streets were not barricaded,” said Hunter Wallace, a far-right blogger. “Violent antifa [anti-fascists] were not penned in their own area as per our agreement with the Charlottesville Police Department, but were roaming the streets and blocking the entrance to Lee Park. They immediately launched an attack on our group with mace, pepper spray, bricks, sticks and foul liquids.”
“The police stood idly by on the sidelines while a brawl was allowed to ensue,” he said. “We had to fight our way into Lee Park and dozens of our people were injured by mace and pepper spray as we marched