After the horrendous clash between white supremacists and Antifa Communists in Charlottesville, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) claimed that the police did not break up the fight because of the fact that the Neo-Nazis were so heavily armed that separating the groups would have been explosive.
During an interview with Black Lives Matter activists DeRay McKesson, McAuliffe stated that the police had found weapons caches around the city, and that intervention would have created an even more violent situation,
“They had battering rams and, you know, we had picked up different weapons they had stashed around the city,” McAuliffe told Mckesson. “This was a powder keg. This was a very volatile situation. And I’ll once again say, I am very proud of our team on the ground. Nobody hurt except for those people hit by the car and you couldn’t stop that.”
In an interview with the New York Times, he even made the ridiculous claim that so many of them were armed with semi-automatic rifles, one would think they were an army. However, those comments were later edited out of the story.
So what’s the problem here? Those caches never existed, and the State Police directly contradicted McAuliffe’s claims.
A State Police Spokesperson told Reason Magazine that the police did not find anything to which McAuliffe was referring:
McAuliffe’s comments were picked up by other news outlets and spread through social media. But Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, says that no such stashes were found.
“The governor was referring to the briefing provided him in advance of Saturday’s rally and the extra security measures being taken by local and state police,” Geller tells Reason. “As a safety precaution in advance of August 12, such searches were conducted in and around Emancipation and McIntire Parks. No weapons were located as a result of those searches.”
McAuliffe also claimed that the police were underequipped to deal with the situation, but State Police once again directly contradicted the Governor’s claim.
“The governor was referencing the weapons and tactical gear the members of various groups attending the rally had on their persons. I can assure you that the Virginia State Police personnel were equipped with more-than-adequate specialized tactical and protective gear for the purpose of fulfilling their duties to serve and protect those in attendance of the August 12 event in Charlottesville.”
Geller made a similar statement to The Washington Free Beacon:
“No, the State Police did not have inferior equipment,” Geller told the Free Beacon on Monday. “Our personnel are equipped, and were equipped, with the necessary protective and tactical gear for their safety and, obviously, to protect those that were in attendance of the event.”
This is twice that the Governor has been directly contradicted by the State Police. And despite both times, McAuliffe still insists that the State Police were underequipped for the situation.
“If you see people yesterday walking down the street yesterday with semi-automatic rifles strapped to their body,” he said. “I mean, they had better armor than my State Police and National Guard had.”
State Police would not release the exact details of their armament to the press, but it’s hard to imagine a small group of racist protesters having better weaponry than the State Police and National Guard.
One of the questions that lingers is why it took the troopers and local police so long to dispel the violence.
source: The Federalist Papers