News Video: Charlottesville Group Claim Police Brutality in Connection to KKK Rally


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A Charlottesville group connected to counterprotesters is demanding justice after it claims law enforcement engaged in police brutality.

Solidarity Cville held a press conference outside the Charlottesville Police Department Friday, July 14. Members of the group are calling on authorities to drop charges against the 22 people arrested Saturday, July 8.

Around 50 supporters and members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Justice Park last Saturday. Over 1,000 people crowded around the park, many of whom actively protesting the Klan’s event.

City officials say police used tear gas after the rally to disperse a crowd of people blocking the KKK group from leaving the area. Eleven people arrested on Saturday are facing a charge of obstructing free passage, while four people are charged with obstruction of justice. The people were crowding the street as the KKK were trying to leave after the rally.

Members of Solidarity Cville believe the arrests were “unwarranted,” that the protesters were mostly peaceful, and that there was no need for a police to use riot gear and tear gas.

“The brutality enacted by the Charlottesville police on the Charlottesville community sits in stark contrast to the patient provided to the KKK,” said Mimi Arbeit with Solidarity Cville.

“I was holding the arm of a man next to me who I didn’t know, and he was hit three times by a police shield and forced to the ground,” said Solidarity Cville member Emory Myer. “We were already on the sidewalk.”

“Three community members were arrested and charged with felony masking because they used their shirts and scarves to protect themselves from chemical agents released by the police,” Don Gathers said.

Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas agreed that the counterprotesters were generally peaceful, but he supports the decision by officers to use tear gas.

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

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