Police Chief delivers a blistering rebuke to church leaders and social justice agencies who accused CPD officers of racial profiling and harassment

Plus, new CM search, crime spikes, and Sketch of the Day

Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney blasted church members, local activists, and local media during a December press conference, calling a "fourth-hand" public account of an October police incident on Rugby Road "inflammatory and baseless allegations" that were "harmful, divisive, and reckless." She ended by saying the church members and activists who created the false narrative are the ones who need to be held accountable.

Fascinating post and thread here on Mayor Walker's Facebook page. She's responding to criticism of Chief Brackney’s press conference, and the calls for her firing, following an investigation of alleged racial profiling by the CPD. What's fascinating is all the opinions about Brackney's statement. Apparently, she's too powerful, too weak, bold, reckless, violating America's founding principles and taking steps towards fascism, publicly harassing residents, doing a great job, standing up for her officers, calling out white fragility and white gaslighting, being morally crucified, and more...

One thing that deserves correction, I think, is the idea that Chief Brackney demanded the resignation and/or firing of church members. A lot of people getting that wrong. If you actually listen to her, she's saying that she believes the church leaders and social justice agencies who called on the CPD to apologize, and for the CPD officers involved to be fired, should be held [by themselves, and the public] to their own standards because she believes their allegations were baseless. One can debate that approach by the Chief, but I see a lot of people misrepresenting what she said for the benefit of their argument.

Nearly half a million dollars spent finding and getting rid of City Managers

So let me get this straight. This new City Manager the City will be looking for will be Charlottesville's fifth City Manger since January 2018 after the City declined to renew Maurice Jones’ contract in 2018. Jones received a $115,000 lump-sum payout and was forgiven $80,000 of a remaining loan the City gave him to buy a house. Before that, Charlottesville had had only four City Mangers in the last 70 years. Then, in an exhaustive process, it took six months and $25,000 to recruit our next City Manager, Tarron Richardson, who left after only sixteen months with a $205,000 severance package. Now the City will spend another six months and $42,000 to recruit a new City Manager.

Late year crime spike

“The citizens of Charlottesville should be concerned about this spike in crime,” said Chief RaShall Brackney. “As a matter of fact, they should be outraged about this spike in crime.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such impassioned, broad comments from a police chief about an investigation. Or ones that feel like PR work as well.

Sketch of the Day. “The vaccine heard around the world.”

Michael Fitts is an artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. You can learn more about Mike's work here, here, and here.