Law enforcement in Charlottesville have received widespread criticism from counterprotesters, bystanders, and participants of the "Unite The Right" rally. Many called the police's handling of the event hands-off, often appearing outnumbered and waiting too long to break up skirmishes between protesters and counter-protesters.
FOX News Doug McKelway was on the ground in Charlottesville during the violent outbreak and said police COULD HAVE stopped this, but didn't.
McKelway: "When I got out of my car yesterday in Charlottesville about 10:30 in the morning you knew this was a bad scene and bad things were going to be happening because people were congregating at Lee Park and Emancipation Park wearing helmets, body armor, carrying big heavy sticks.
Nobody was intent on peace here from either side. People were intent on causing havoc and causing damage. And even as wounded were being brought out of the park police were sitting idly by. I was standing off a cordoned off area where the police had set up as a staging area, the state police, and they said you can come in here this is a safe area.
But when the tear gas started to fly, thrown by protesters, the police themselves began to evacuate then. I asked the guy who was in charge, “Where you going?” He said, “We’re leaving. It’s too dangerous.” They had a chance to nip this thing in the bud and they chose not to”