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Charlottesville Police Chief's Comments Stoke Controversy

Stolzenberg contends that repaving is unnecessary. (City of Charlottesville/Hawes Spencer)
Stolzenberg contends that repaving is unnecessary. (City of Charlottesville/Hawes Spencer)

Charlottesville, once a so-called "capital of the resistance," has seen no violence during the national uprisings over police shootings. Even its Confederate statues are still standing. But a recent statement by the police chief has some city officials concerned.

Police Chief RaShall Brackney said some people engaged in unacceptable and criminal behavior amid a June 21 Black Lives Matter protest.

"This included harassing and attempting to shame individuals who were trying to enjoy a Father's Day meal with their families," Brackney said.

City planning commissioner Rory Stolzenberg says getting yelled at in a café can be disconcerting, but that it's Constitutionally-protected speech, and therefore he finds her words concerning.

"The city police department is calling it criminal and unacceptable," Stolzenberg said. "That in itself is completely unacceptable and a basic violation of our rights as Americans."

He also says police are inflating some recent graffiti damage by claiming the need to spend $15,000 on Market Street asphalt-- even though black paint seems to have fully obscured the anti-police messages. The chief, however, claims some asphalt must be ripped up and repaved-- and she announced that four people suspected of tagging the asphalt will be arrested.