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Virginia State Police Dispute Gov. McAuliffe’s Charlottesville Claims

The horrific events in Charlottesville were bad enough. Why embellish them?

Terry McAuliffe Charlottesville

Virginia State Police are disputing a series of claims made by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) about the events that took place at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

During a podcast interview on Monday, McAuliffe claimed that the protesters “stashed” weapons throughout the city.

“They had battering rams and we had picked up different weapons that they had stashed around the city,” McAuliffe said.

Not true, the Virginia State Police said.

“The governor was referring to the briefing provided him in advance of Saturday’s rally and the extra security measures being taken by local and state police,” Geller tells Reason. “As a safety precaution in advance of August 12, such searches were conducted in and around Emancipation and McIntire Parks. No weapons were located as a result of those searches.”

McAuliffe also claimed that the protesters “had better equipment than our State Police had.” And while that claim made it into the final New York Times story, an earlier version, in which McAuliffe claimed that “80 percent of the people here had semi-automatic weapons” was later scrubbed without a note from the editor.

Again, Virginia State Police take issue with McAuliffe’s version of events:

“The governor was referencing the weapons and tactical gear the members of various groups attending the rally had on their persons,” Geller says. “I can assure you that the Virginia State Police personnel were equipped with more-than-adequate specialized tactical and protective gear for the purpose of fulfilling their duties to serve and protect those in attendance of the August 12 event in Charlottesville.”

Inadequate police response and crowd control has been a frequent criticism in the days after the rally. One woman protesting the white nationalist rally was killed and more than 30 others were injured over the weekend.