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).
“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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