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July 17, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The ACLU of Virginia, the Legal Aid Justice Center, Rutherford Institute, and the Central Virginia chapter of the National Lawyers Guild today called on the governor and officials for the City of Charlottesville to request an independent investigation into the outsized and militaristic governmental response to those who chose on July 8 to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights to assemble in public and engage in peaceful, nonviolent protests.

The legal organizations asked local and state officials to:

  1. Acknowledge that the deliberate choice to use warzone tactics on July 8 – instead of planning for de-escalation – is inconsistent with Charlottesville’s values and good policing;
  2. Authorize and initiate an independent investigation into law enforcement’s actions before, during and after the permitted demonstration on July 8 to determine whether any actions were unlawful; and
  3. Ensure accountability for any unlawful tactics used, whether by the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) or the Virginia State Police (VSP).

You can read our letters to Charlottesville City Council and Governor Terry McAuliffe in the attached documents below.