CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - Charlottesville’s police chief is defending herself against allegations the department is dragging its feet on investigating vandalism.
Chief RaShall Brackney says recent damage to the statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is being reviewed by detectives.
"It's really disingenuous to think that we are politically motivated in the police department as it comes to investigating crimes. As you recall when I first arrived here, my philosophy was that we police based on behaviors not ideology," the chief said.
Brackney also says there is no pressure or directive from the city to put the investigation on the back burner: "There is no direction from [City Council], the city manager, or myself to any of our staff to not investigate this fully," she stated.
A reward is being offered through Crime Stoppers. Members of the Monument Fund, a group working to preserve the statues, have expressed confusion over a reward not being publicized by the Charlottesville Police Department.
The department has publicized rewards in other cases, but those were typically violent crimes, like homicide investigations. Brackney says Crime Stoppers is responsible for the reward money and can publicize the amount.
“Crime Stoppers has the ability to post on their website any of these, and if they wanted to have a higher profile of this particular reward, they could do that," the chief explained.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.