The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned Virginia law enforcement officials several days ahead of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that turned violent, Politico reports.
According to Politico, The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis sent the report to authorities on August 9, urging them to prepare for the possibility of wide-scale violence at the rally.
The report made by the DHS cited two previous clashes in Charlottesville involving far-right groups and anti-fascist protesters, stressing that the August 12 rally could prove to be “among the most violent to date.”.
Violent clashes broke out on the day of the rally between the white supremacists and counter-protesters, leading to one fatality and more than a dozen injuries.
The latest revelation that local law enforcement had been warned about the potential for violence at the event could put extra pressure on Virginia officials, who were forced to defend the police response after suffering strong criticism, Politico comments.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who said that his office had prepared for the rally for weeks, realized during the event that “additional powers” were needed to ensure people’s safety, while city and police officials also cited the large crowd sizes in being unable to adequately deal with the riots.