Home Charlottesville Audio: Gov. Terry McAuliffe “Very Angry” at ACLU, Judges for Blocking Far-Right...

Audio: Gov. Terry McAuliffe “Very Angry” at ACLU, Judges for Blocking Far-Right Rally Being “moved to McIntire Park”

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Gov. McAuliffe was interviewed this morning on NPR and boy was he angry about how Charlottesville went down this weekend. The part about the ACLU and judges begins at 5:35 (audio below; bolding added by me for emphasis).

I will tell you this, though, David, we asked – the city of Charlottesville – asked for that to be moved out of downtown Charlottesville to a park about a mile and a half away, a lot of open fields, that was the place that it should have been. We were unfortunately sued by the ACLU and the judge ruled against us. That rally should not have been in the middle of downtown…It became a powder keg. And we’ve gotta look at these permits and we’ve gotta look at where we put these rallies and protesters. I’ve got to protect public safety and our police did a magnificent job.…And I’ll tell you this, the city of Charlottesville wanted to move it, which was the smart decision. Number two, they tried to ban any sticks and poles, which were used as weapons on Saturday. These were all denied.  So I did talk to my Attorney General yesterday; we’ve got to get a better understanding with these judges…Our job is to keep our community safe. I’m all for free speech – peaceful free speech. But to put all these people with all these weapons who came in from out of state…they came here to hurt people, and they came with guns…The lesson I learned is we’ve got to do a better job of working with the judiciary; they need to listen to the local city officials about where these permits are allowed…our job’s to protect…and the judiciary needs to do a better job of working with us. I am angry that this was not moved to McIntire Park where the city of Charlottesville had requested.  I am very angry today, because these people were dispersed, and that allowed this guy with a car to run through downtown Charlottesville with people everywhere.

  • Governor McAuliffe Statement on Next Steps After Events in Charlottesville

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe released the statement below regarding the next steps he and his administration will take following the events this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA:

    “Today, I convened an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the next steps we, as a commonwealth, must take in order to begin the arduous process of healing our community and confronting the racism that stubbornly remains in our nation. The events of this weekend have only strengthened our resolve to combat hatred and bigotry, and I want Virginia to be a leader in the national conversation about how we move forward. I have directed my team to impanel a commission with representatives from community organizations, faith leaders, and law enforcement to make actionable recommendations for executive and legislative solutions to advance our mission of reconciliation, unity, and public safety.

    “Also, while we continue to grieve and support the families of those who lost their lives, we must learn from this tragic event to prevent a recurrence in our community or elsewhere. In that spirit, I also directed my team to conduct an extensive review that will include how we issue rally permits, law enforcement preparation and response, and coordination at the local, state, and federal level. In addition, the federal government must focus on the threat of domestic terrorism especially when it comes from beyond state lines.

    “Finally, I commend our Virginia State Police and National Guard personnel, who worked in support of the City of Charlottesville, for their tireless work this weekend under very challenging and volatile circumstances. Without their extensive preparations and measured actions, we would be facing a far more grave situation today.”

  • And this is why legislation like the one I intend to propose next session would be so useful to preventing this kind of tragedy in Virginia’s future. I’ll repeat it here:

    “I will introduce a bill in Virginia in the next session to allow localities the power to ban the carrying of weapons by non-law-enforcement within 1000 feet of a permitted political protest where law-enforcement is present.

    The police are already there. There is no good reason why people need to bring their own guns to such an event. Thank God we did not have people shot. I’m trying to prevent next time.

    We can and should ban cars from such an event. We should be able to ban guns too. Frankly, they can do far more damage more quickly.”

    Please note that the courts are ruling under current Virginia law. If the bill I propose becomes law, the courts would give more latitude to cities to regulate at least the arms (if not the location) of people engaged in large political protests where violence is feared and law enforcement is present.

    In the District of Columbia, they even prohibit wooden sign posts on protest signs that can be used as weapons. If they can prohibit wooden sticks at protests in DC, surely we can at least prohibit guns at protests in Virginia (and wooden sticks too, if necessary!)