Speed Reads

charlottesville aftermath

Charlottesville police chief retires in wake of scathing report

The chief of police in Charlottesville, Virginia, announced on Monday he is retiring, following months of criticism and the release earlier this month of an unfavorable independent report focusing on the way he handled the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in August.

During the rally, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a man plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters. In a statement, Police Chief Alfred Thomas said he "will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly." Thomas was made police chief in April 2016.

A 220-page report issued this month found that Thomas and city officials made numerous mistakes, not only on the day of the Unite the Right rally but also in the months leading up to it, NPR reports. His response to the chaos that unfolded was "slow-footed," the report said, and he made officers who spoke to investigators afraid of retaliation. His attorney denied this, as well as claims that he deleted text messages relevant to the investigation.