Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo has not had a pleasant couple of weeks. During a coffee shop interview on January 2, Longo took time to discuss the fall-out from an allegedly vicious, unprovoked attack on a white couple by three black males that occurred on the Downtown Mall early Thursday morning on December 20. A story on the attack that ran in Cville Weekly, which relied on the testimony of the victims, quickly went viral, prompting hundreds of comments, many of them so hostile and racist that the paper made the decision to shut down the comment section. Across the Internet, the story has been characterized as a vicious, racially charged “knock-out game” style attack, done for sport and entertainment on unsuspecting White victims. What’s more, the Cville Weekly story highlighted the victims opinion that the police had been slow to respond, and “didn’t seem to care” about seeking justice.
Needless to say, the barrage of emails and phone calls that Longo has received have not been kind. One man told him that his family was canceling their yearly trip to Charlottesville because of the dangers, and because of the “gross incompetence” of Longo’s police force. Others, of course, were not so polite.
Ironically, its Longo who has for some time been lobbying for more police officers and beefed up security on the Downtown Mall, to no avail. One positive of the media firestorm, he hopes, might be a new willingness on the part of City government to reconsider his proposals. But, other than that, there are few positives for Longo about the story that has swept the nation before the police investigation has been completed. Read more…
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