A review was conducted of the recent events in Charlottesville: Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia (PDF). The review was led by Hunton & Williams, a law firm founded in Richmond but with offices now around the world.
The report examines three events in the city during 2017; I will focus only on the most recent one – the one that generated the most coverage, controversy and destruction. The report is 220 pages; I will not go through all of it, but draw a few excerpts from the Executive Summary and other selected sections.
Jason Kessler obtained a permit to convene a rally at the Lee statue at which he planned to bring together a wide array of right-wing and white nationalist groups… Counter-protesters began mobilizing for this event and similarly recruited a range of left-wing groups to come to Charlottesville to confront the racist ideology of the Unite The Right groups.
You get the idea of the slant.
The scope of the event was not a surprise to city authorities:
City planners understood the scope and challenge presented by the August 12 event. CPD [Charlottesville Police Department] commanders obtained accurate information about expected attendance at the Unite The Right rally, from online and human sources. They knew the event would attract hundreds if not thousands of people on both sides.
City leaders wanted to deny the legally obtained permit; they then wanted to move the march to a different park. This now required the police to develop a new plan along with the prior plan just days before the event. They decided to move the event despite being warned that this decision would be struck down in court. It was.
Even apart from the complexity…