Anyone looking to understand what went wrong in 2017 at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville must of course watch the open source footage and consult the indispensable Charlottesville Independent Review. But the historical record is not complete without peering behind the veil into the machinations of the government officials who sabotaged the rally at the expense of human rights and human life.
For the first time, VDARE presents my distillation of THOUSANDS of government documents to a select few extraordinary communications:
In 2017, a Huffington Post journalist named Jessica Schulberg paid almost $2,000 to obtain approximately 10,000 pages of emails from the City Manager, Mayor, Police Chief and others including the FBI and ADL. These documents tell an untold story of police and politicians making self-serving decisions with tragic results.
Police Chief Thomas Used Deception to Shift Blame at His Press Conference
From Al Thomas’ August 14th press conference:
“We had a plan to bring them in at the rear of the park. They had agreed to cooperate with the plan. Unfortunately, um, they did not, um, follow the plan.” (3:34)
(FOIA 002; Pgs 91 & 142) Charlottesville Police Captain Wendy Lewis notes that it is deceptive to say, “demonstrators were supposed to enter from the rear of the park”, although technically correct because speakers are also demonstrators of a sort.
Captain Lewis: “…it was the speakers and their security staff that were to enter through the rear of the park“.
The clear implication of Chief Thomas’ statement is that hundreds of protesters barged into a street that was supposed to be closed off to them, or even worse, was designated for counter-protesters.
Chief Thomas agrees that it is “an important detail” but takes no action whatsoever to correct the record with reporter Matthew Nestel of ABC News.
Three days later Captain Lewis expresses dismay that the city keeps putting out similarly deceptive statements implying that all of the Unite the Right demonstrators were supposed to enter from the rear of the park. (Pg 121)
Captain Lewis: “Did anyone correct Miriam’s statement? It gives the impression that the rear of the park was entry point for all the alt-right demonstrators.“
Once again, Al Thomas and Communications Director Miriam Dickler take no action whatsoever to correct the deceptive statements.
This mirrors clearly deceptive statements put out by Police Chief Al Thomas in his post-UTR press conference.
At no time after being called out on the deceptions by Captain Lewis were any of these misleading statements corrected to news reporters.
They were trying to blame the entire police department standing down on LESS THAN A DOZEN SPEAKERS entering through the general attendance entrance rather than a rear entrance!
For context here is how the discussions about entry point for speakers actually went down. We have a recording of the conversation so we don’t have to speculate.
The Charlottesville City Council Went Shopping for a Law Firm Willing to Violate the First Amendment
(FOIA 001; Pg 481) Mayor Signer and council REJECTED legal analysis of City Attorney Craig Brown when he told Signer that moving the rally would violate demonstrators First Amendment rights.
Mayor Signer bullied and cajoled him: “we need to be on the same page here… We need that can-do approach… for that reason I think we may have to seek outside counsel now.“
Mayor Mike Signer Brought ADL Officials into “Security Strategy” Planning for the Rally
(FOIA 001; Pg 764) Mike Signer invited ADL representatives to speak with Chief Thomas about “security strategy”
Mayor Signer: “The best person for you to talk with on behalf of the ADL about the City’s security strategy would be Chief Al Thomas…“
(FOIA 001; Pg 767) ADL Regional Director Ezickson and ADL Vice-President David Friedman hook Signer up with friendly FBI agent, Mike Herrington.
ADL is not a nonpartisan “counter-extremism” group but an explicit political enemy of white advocacy groups. The ADL has been caught by authorities conducting extrajudicial police operations to infringe the civil liberties of American citizens.
From the Los Angeles Times
Evidence of ADL Spy Operation Seized by Police, by Richard C. Paddock, April 9, 1993
Police on Thursday served search warrants on the Anti-Defamation League here and in Los Angeles, seizing evidence of a nationwide intelligence network accused of keeping files on more than 950 political groups, newspapers, and labor unions and as many as 12,000 people.
Describing the spy operations in great detail, San Francisco authorities simultaneously released voluminous documents telling how operatives of the Anti-Defamation League searched through trash and infiltrated organizations to gather intelligence an Arab-American, right-wing, and what they called pinko organizations….
Authorities said much of the material collected by the group was confidential information obtained illegally from law enforcement agencies. They also alleged that data on some individuals and organizations was sold separately to the South African government.
In addition to allegations of obtaining confidential information from police, the Anti-Defamation League could face a total of 48 felony counts for not properly reporting the employment of its chief West Coast spy, Roy Bullock, according to the affidavit filed to justify the search warrant. [More]
Charlottesville Government Massively Redacts Briefings from the ADL
(FOIA 003; pg 29) An ADL “researcher” sent a document to the Charlottesville Police Department. It was entirely redacted as if the ADL itself was granted law enforcement immunities pertaining to criminal investigations. The document also redacts the email addresses of ADL officials as if they have some kind of Top Secret government immunity.
Mayor Signer Maintains Culture of Secrecy About Efforts to Sabotage the Rally
(FOIA 008; pg 123) Mayor Signer warned government officials to be secretive about efforts to sabotage the rally because emails about the topic are subject to FOIA.
Mayor Signer: “…please keep in mind that all emails to us are subject to FOIA.“
City Held Illegal Closed Door Meetings to Plan Rally Sabotage
(FOIA 004; pgs 761 & 762) The above was in the context of the Charlottesville City Council holding illegal closed door meetings to obfuscate their decisions about the rally from the general public.
Open Government Advocate Megan Rhyne: “…the mere presence of an attorney doesn’t justify the exemption.“
Reporter Henry Graff: “Can you tell us why the meeting last night was done in closed session? I’m getting questions that it may have been illegally closed to the public.“
Of course, Graff received no response to his queries.
Police Hid Protesters Plea for Intervention on August 11 from Public
(FOIA 009; pg 163) While police and public officials have repeatedly lied about organizers not informing them about the August 11 political march, internal documents show that organizers begged police to come and keep the peace after threats were posted to an anarcho-terrorist website.
Note: “Angela” refers to Lt Tabler of the UVA Police Department who Kline and I talked to before the rally.
Chief Thomas: “Captain (Victor) Mitchell spoke with Kessler who asked for police protection tonight. He forwarded him to Angela.“
(FOIA 003; pg 12) UVA Police Chief Michael Gibson confirmed that the connection between Kessler and Tabler had indeed taken place.
Chief Gibson: “One of my folks has been in contact with Kessler.“
This evidence is in direct contradiction to perjured testimony from UVA PD Lt Angela Tabler who swore out an affidavit claiming that they were “surprised” about the protest march and that she had “called five times” to find out what was going on when in actuality organizers had reached out to her. There are also phone records which directly contradict this perjured testimony.
Lt. Angela Tabler of the UVA Police Department
For a bird’s eye view into decisions made by organizers that night, listen to this audio captured on attendee Christopher Cantwell’s body camera.
Antifa Threatened a Mass Casualty Shooting in Lee Park
(FOIA 009; pg 773) When police were commanded to “Let them fight” they stood down with full knowledge that the decision could result in grievous bodily injury and death.
This image was passed along by a concerned citizen and included in a threat briefing.
Antifa threat: “With all those Nazi f-cks in the park it will be like shooting fish in a barrel.“
Antifa Sent a Police Officer to the Emergency Room at the July 8th Protest
(FOIA 003; pg 169) Charlottesville law enforcement had an opportunity to preview what to expect from anarcho-terrorist groups a month earlier at a July 8th protest in Jackson Park.
During that event Antifa physically confronted and ultimately attacked law enforcement officers, injuring one of them grievously enough to send him into the ER.
Report: “Officer (REDACTED) was transported to the UVA ER (REDACTED)“
“In the last 6 months in confrontations (with Antifa) the result has been numerous assaults, injuries, property damage and arrests.”
(FOIA 003; pg 24) A liaison from the Greensboro Police Department warned Captain Wendy Lewis that his jurisdiction had been plagued by “in excess of 500 Antifa or criminal-minded anarchists, armed with surreptitious weapons and facial coverings”.
Police After Action Reports Blamed Antifa for Starting Violence
(FOIA 003; pgs 237 and 247) In the aftermath of the rally, several officers including Virginia State Police 1st Sgt Gregory Miller filed after action reports placing the blame for escalating violence clearly on the shoulders of Antifa anarcho-terrorists groups.
Sgt Miller: “…some of the BLM protesters followed the 30 sound crew helpers across the parking lot…The fight started when some of the counter-protesters shoved hard one of the 30 carrying flags…“
“I observed…CS grenades being thrown from the crowd… from what I understood to be Antifa members.“
“I observed a small group of white males… suffering from what appeared to be chemical agent exposure and were being helped to walk.“
BONUS! This was not in Schulberg FOIA but has not been released elsewhere….
Chief Al Thomas: “Stand By” While Alt-Right and Antifa “Beat Each Other Bloody“
Just five days before the rally, Police Chief Al Thomas sent this ominous letter to the City Manager Maurice Jones. It links to an article titled: ‘AS PORTLAND POLICE STAND BY, ALT-RIGHT AND ANTIFA PROTESTERS BEAT EACH OTHER BLOODY‘.
Jones does not recoil in horror at the suggestion so we can only surmise how he felt about it by his silent approval of Thomas’ “Let them fight” order 5 days later.
Jason Kessler is a journalist and civil rights activist with bylines in VDARE, Daily Caller, UNZ and GotNews.