Charlottesville Man Claims City, Police Failed to Protect During Aug. 12 Rally
A Virginia-based law group is suing Charlottesville and law enforcement leaders over the violence that erupted at Emancipation Park on August 12.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Virginia-based law group is suing Charlottesville and law enforcement leaders over the violence that erupted at Emancipation Park last month.
Nexus Caridades Attorneys Inc. and the man it is representing, Robert Sanchez Turner, held a news conference next to the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park Friday, September 1.
The lawsuit claims Turner's constitutional rights were violated and that authorities failed to step in when things turned violent during white-activist Jason Kessler's Unite the Right rally on August 12.
The defendants in the lawsuit are the city, Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas, and the Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel W. Steven Flaherty.
"What I'm really looking forward to is watching the police chief and others and city government testify under oath in a public courtroom so we can determine what really happened that day," said Nexus Services Inc. President and CEO Mike Donovan.
Multiple fights and skirmishes between people associated with white supremacists, neo-Nazi groups, antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other organizations broke out even before the rally began. Violence continued into the afternoon, including a deadly car attack in the area of 4th Street that took the life of Heather Heyer and injured dozens.
Attorneys and Turner believed police stood down, and enabled a "modern-day race war."
"You can’t tell me that dozens and dozens and dozens of police officers stood here and did nothing because they didn't want to?" Donovan said.
Turner claims he was assaulted by white supremacist and neo-Nazi protesters: "I suffered in my neck, my head. I suffer from migraine headaches form being hit in the head," he said.
The plaintiff added, "There was a lot of people that had got injured."
Charlottesville City Councilor Bob Fenwick attended Friday's conference, and disagreed with the claim that law enforcement were ordered to stand down.
"There was no police stand down. If there were I would have known about it. If anybody wants to see what happened here that day they can go to cvillecitizen.com," the councilor said.
Fenwick noted that he was not speaking for Charlottesville or the City Council.
Nexus Services Inc. will be funding Turner’s lawsuit.