Charlottesville Police Chief Retires Amid Criticism Over White Nationalist Rally

The police chief of Charlottesville, Va. is stepping down amid criticism over the handling of a white nationalist rally over the summer. After 27 years in law enforcement, Alfred Thomas announced his immediate retirement Monday (Dec. 18).

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“Nothing in my career has brought me more pride than serving as the Police Chief for the City of Charlottesville,” Thomas, who became police chief in 2016, said in a statement. “I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly.  It truly has been an unparalleled privilege to work alongside such a dedicated and professional team of public servants.  I wish them and the citizens of Charlottesville the very best.”

The announcement comes two weeks after a 220-page independent review of Charlottesville “during the turbulent summer of 2017,” concluded that the police department “failed to protect public safety” during a “Unite the Right” rally that left one person dead and dozens injured after a car deliberately plowed through a crowd of counter-protestors. The racist event was one of three similar marches held in Charlottesville between May and August.

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