Police Chief: Charlottesville security presence a product of uncertainty

Police Chief: Charlottesville security presence a product of uncertainty

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - At a multi-agency news conference Monday, officials expressed they were overly prepared for the anniversary of the Unite The Right rally to ensure last year didn't repeat itself.

The city partnered with dozens of local and state agencies on a plan they started putting together last winter. The police chief said more than 1,000 officers were on the ground in Charlottesville on Sunday, including officers from Henrico County.

The downtown mall was barricaded off all weekend and every person had to be screened by police to get inside.

The large amount of police was a product of uncertainty but also of the information police had beforehand that they wouldn't comment on. Officials expressed their guilt over what happened at the rally last year and their goal to change the narrative surrounding the city of Charlottesville.

"As for what the planning looks like next year and are we going to do this every year? I would ask the citizens of Charlottesville to think about that," Charlottesville Police Chief Chief RaShall Brackney said. "What next year will look like and then the police response will have to be matched to that. As for the 1,000 officers in place, as you can see and if you watch the video there is necessity for the large crowds to have a large footprint here."

Issues with policing led to a lack of containment that sparked the Unite The Right white supremacist rally in 2017 that left Heather Heyer dead, dozens of people physically and emotionally injured and a city searching for its truth.

Seven people were arrested Sunday. One of those people was arrested twice.

The arrested individuals were charged with crimes of assault and battery, disorderly conduct and possession of a concealed weapon.

Three officers were also assaulted.

So far, there has been no word on how much the measures taken Sunday cost the city of Charlottesville.

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