Chief Williams Describes Lessons Learned From Charlottesville

Chief Calvin Williams after Thursday's event in Akron. [Matt Richmond / ideastream]

After the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend, local law enforcement was widely criticized for failing to intervene early on when violence broke out. 

During a talk at the Akron Roundtable, Chief Calvin Williams said if a march of white supremacists comes to Cleveland, the first priority will be having more than enough officers present. He used the preparation for the Republican National Convention last year in Cleveland as an example. According to Williams, the strategy was to get up close and personal with demonstrators.

“We’re going to make sure they understand first and foremost the rules of engagement. The primary rule is we will not tolerate violence at all or property destruction at all," said Williams.

It appears other departments have learned similar lessons – in Boston, the city is preparing for a Saturday march that may attract likeminded groups. The city has banned weapons and backpacks, limited the length and location of the march, set up barricades between the protest sides and will have a heavy police presence.

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