December 5, 2017

Charlottesville Report – Final

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:46 am

Charlottesville Report Cover

OpenCdA urges Idaho state, county, and city officials as well as emergency medical facilities’ planners to not just read but carefully study the Final Report – Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  It was prepared by Hunton & Williams LLP and released November 24, 2017.

Readers may recall that during the summer of 2017, there was a series of protest events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Generally, these events involved demonstrations both supporting and opposing the City’s decision to remove the statutes of two Civil War confederate generals, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from public display.

The protest events in July and August often involved concurrent and opposing demonstrations that required local government planning and law enforcement interevention.

In particular, the demonstration on August 12 received persistent coverage from the national skews media.   It was in that demonstration that a demonstrator, Heather Heyer, was struck and killed by a car driven by an opposing demonstrator, James Fields.    Her death and President Trump’s appropriately neutral comments about the demonstrators became the focus of the skews media coverage.  The Final Report explains how failures to plan, execute, and communicate by state and local government and law enforcement contributed to her death.

There are many lessons to be learned from the 220-page report.  OpenCdA hopes that Idaho state, county, and local government, medical, and public safety agencies will heed them.


  1. One can always hope.

    Comment by Tributary — December 5, 2017 @ 11:37 am

  2. Tributary,

    I think the value in this report is that it definitely shows the general public just how much initial and continuing interagency coordination, training, and preparation is necessary for potentially violent events. It also shows just how quickly things can go sideways when the coordination and interagency training aren’t an ongoing process rather than an event-driven one.

    The report is properly critical of the Virginia State Police and the Charlottesville Police Department. Both were guilty of stovepiping information rather than sharing it.

    One of the bright spots in the report was the preparation by the Charlottesville Fire Department (see Report, page 104).

    Another bright spot was the independent preparation by the University of Virginia Medical Center. It’s preparation was independent because the Charlottesville Police Department refused repeated requests by the Director of Emergency Management at UVA Health Systems to attend planning sessions (see Report, page 105).

    Why local government administrators assume that the cops are the most qualified emergency incident planners and managers is beyond me. Law enforcement is a necessary component of an emergency response plan, but it is by no means the most important. That observation is clear in the Report.

    Comment by Bill — December 5, 2017 @ 12:05 pm

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