The deadly riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, are back in the news. This time with news that a group of lawyers is suing the City of Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Police Department, as well as the Virginia State Police for failing to protect citizens during the riots which left a trail of multiple people injured and the death of Heather Heyer.
The client being represented by this group of lawyers, Robert Sanchez Turner, claims that city and state officials stood down knowing that the protest was going to become destructive and violent and did nothing to stop it until it was too late. Jen Little, who is the Public Relations Director working with the group of lawyers representing Robert Sanchez Turner stated, “Mr. Turner was assaulted while police officers watched but failed to act to keep him safe or arrest those responsible for the attacks. As reported by Mr. Turner and confirmed by footage from dozens of media cameras and hundreds of handheld cameras and phones, police stood down. This stand-down enabled neo-Nazis to inflict a modern-day race war in the streets of Charlottesville. Mr. Turner has constitutional rights, and the City of Charlottesville and the police leadership failed him and countless others when they stood down and allowed racists and violent extremists to run amok in the city.”
Mr. Turner was not the only one seriously injured in these riots, and it is likely that others who suffered because Charlottesville Police and the Virginia State Police stood down will bring forth additional legal actions. It has not been confirmed who may have given a stand down order but this lawsuit will surely get the answer.
Evidence likely to be used in the legal proceedings which Robert Sanchez Turner is bringing against the aforementioned parties may include the information the Department of Justice is demanding from Dreamhost, a web host provider that provided services to disruptj20.org, an anti-Trump web site seemingly used as an online meeting place for leftists to coordinate their violence. According to The Wrap, “The DOJ is looking for Dreamhost to share information from visitors to disruptj20.org — a site that has organized protests against Donald Trump, including his presidential inauguration. In its search warrant, the DOJ calls for Dreamhost to provide emails connected to the site, as well as subscriber information and “names, physical addresses, telephone numbers, and other identifiers.” Naturally, this has the owners of disruptj20.org and Dreamhost in a panic. Both parties have stated they are resisting the efforts of the Department of Justice to be forced to turn over this information. Dreamhost responded to the DOJ search warrant with the following, “The Internet was founded and continues to survive, in the main on its democratizing ability to facilitate a free exchange of ideas. Internet users have a reasonable expectation that they will not get swept up in criminal investigations simply by exercising their right to political speech against the government. We intend to take whatever steps are necessary to support and shield these users from what is, in our view, a very unfocused search and an unlawful request for their personal information”. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has yet to respond to Dreamhost and disruptj20.org’s refusal to cooperate with the DOJ.
Should it be revealed beyond a doubt that stand down orders were given to incite violence in an effort to pursue a political agenda, these people could themselves be held civilly and criminally accountable. In past instances, such as the riots in Ferguson, stand down orders were justified because public safety was cited. However, with the multitude of video evidence on YouTube, it is clear that the city of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Police Department let the situation get out of control.
Liberals and the mainstream media have been hard at work to pin all the blame of Charlottesville on the alt-right and Trump supporters ignoring the fact that it was ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and the National Socialist Movement who instigated the violence. Trump supporters and other innocent people were merely caught in the middle. This lawsuit will likely result in some much-needed changes in Charlottesville as well as serve as an example of what city and state officials should not do.