Monday, December 18, 2017

Soon-to-be Charlottesville City Councilor Says Police Chief was Forced Out
Dec 18, 2017 10:47 PM EST

Soon-to-be Charlottesville City Councilor Says Police Chief was Forced Out

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -A contentious Charlottesville City Council meeting erupted in City Hall Monday night as the city manager insists Charlottesville’s first black police chief was not forced out of a job.

This comes with less than two weeks until new city councilors Heather Hill and Nikuyah Walker are set to be sworn in. Walker attended the meeting and spoke defiantly as a community member, saying there is no way that’s the entire story.

"There is no way that Chief Thomas walked out of here voluntarily,” Walker said to the crowd. “There will be no healing until this type of stuff stops happening."

She and others are calling into question the official statement from City Hall: That Thomas voluntarily retired, effective immediately.

“Yes accountability, but is that how we are going to enforce accountability? The only person that is being held accountable at this point is a black man, so do any of you really understand what white supremacy is?” Walker said.

City Manager Maurice Jones says their story is the truth.

“It was Chief Thomas' decision to step down immediately. and that was his decision,” Jones said. “He can share whatever comments we had in our private conversation with you if he chooses to do that, I'm not going to do that for him,” Jones said.

Walker says Charlottesville Police Maj. Gary Pleasants should not be interim chief.

"This is not the time to follow protocol. There is no trust there, long term and there is definitely no trust there after the report,” Walker said.

Walker says the independent review conducted shows Pleasants ordered tear gas used on counter demonstrators at the July 8 KKK rally.

“When we are talking about moving forward in the city and how that looks, this is not a good start, it is absolutely unacceptable and you are digging deeper into the problems,” Walker said.

Pleasants will be acting as chief until an interim chief will be named within the next week.

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