American Civil Liberties Union has confirmed in a tweet that police were given a stand-down order. In a quote from the ACLU of Virginia's twitter, police say "We'll not intervene until given the command to do so." This has sparked a heated debate online as several people have weighed in on the matter with differing opinions. One thing is clear, there is a legal basis to one sides protest, and no legal basis to others.
What we know so far is that the far right group 'Unite the Right' had a legal permit to protest at the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. City leaders actually attempted to have the protest moved but since it was backed by the ACLU, they requested an emergency junction against the city claiming their first amendment rights were violated. The injunction went through on Friday and so did the protest. The problem's begin when a second, unsanctioned group of protesters took it upon themselves to show up en mass to protest Unite the Right.
That is when things got violent, fights broke out between many people and police intervention was required. At one point however the police were given an order to stand down and that is what is the subject of heated debate currently. There are those who bevel that the police had a responsibility to remove those protesters who did not have a legal right to be there and if they had than the violent attack that occurred later might not have happened.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ACLU confirms police were given stand-down order. They used the violence as a reason to shut down permitted protest. <a href="https://t.co/Krzz82m9Qe">https://t.co/Krzz82m9Qe</a></p>— 💋👠Tia6 🇺🇸⚓🌹 (@tia6sc) <a href="https://twitter.com/tia6sc/status/896788834037358592">August 13, 2017</a></blockquote>
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