Charlottesville City Council meeting implodes over response to Nazi rally

Charlottesville residents are pissed off about how the city mishandled the August 12 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally which resulted in the death of 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer.

According to the New York Times, Monday night’s meeting began “without incident,” but immediately imploded when the Nazi rally was brought up. NBC News reported that the rally was not on the meeting’s agenda, but was forced into discussion by constituents. Two protesters climbed onto the dais and unrolled a banner which read “blood on your hands” directed at the fleeing city council members and Mayor Michael Signor. Attendees shouted “shame” and resign” at the mayor before cops were called in to settle the melee, ultimately detaining three protesters. No injuries were reported.

“I’m outraged!” Charlottesville resident Tracy Saxon told NYT. “I watched my people get beat and murdered. They let Nazis in here have freedom of speech, and they protect them? And we can’t have freedom of speech?”

From NBC News:

The council re-convened and listened for more than three hours of tongue-lashing from people who said the authorities did nothing to protect them from white nationalists.

The council ultimately voted unanimously in favor of expediting the removal and relocation of both the Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson monuments in the city, Charlottesville City Clerk Paige Rice said. The council also voted unanimously to drape the statues “in recognition of the city’s mourning,” Rice said.

City officials ultimately agreed to have a third party investigate the planning and response to the rally.

[Screengrab: HLN]