Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
Three days before the “Unite the Right” rally brought dozens of white supremacists and neo-Nazis to Charlottesville, VA, the federal government had warned local law enforcement that the event was a powder keg that could be “among the most violent to date,” Politico reported on Tuesday.
In the “law enforcement sensitive” assessment, a confidential document to police that was obtained by the site and dated August 9, Department of Homeland Security officials warned that both white supremacists and some anti-fascist counter-protesters were spoiling for violent confrontations. The assessment cited two previous clashes between the factions earlier this year in Charlottesville, at a white supremacist rally on May 13 and a Ku Klux Klan rally on July 7.
“Anarchist extremists and white supremacist extremists online are calling on supporters to be prepared for or to instigate violence at the 12 August rally,” the assessment, as quoted by Politico, read. Three days later, clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters turned violent and culminated in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who died when a white supremacist allegedly plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters and killed her.
“They predicted it,” an unnamed senior law enforcement analyst from another state said of the assessment. Each side said, “‘All right everybody, go get your weapons, and we’re gonna go kick their asses.’ And that’s exactly what happened in Charlottesville.”
The document provides new evidence that state and local police botched the response to the far-right rally. Counter-protesters at the rally told The New York Times last week that even when a white supremacist pointed a pistol at the crowd, the more than 100 police officers present “never moved.” The city announced that it’s hired a former United States attorney to investigate the police response before and during the rally.
- The Illinois attorney general filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to bring the law awaited plan to reform the Chicago Police Department to fruition as the Trump administration continues to drag its feet on the matter.
- Hurricane Harvey made a second landfall early this morning just west of Cameron, LA. The storm has already broken some terrifying weather records.
- Trump is reportedly still waffling about whether to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, as an unofficial September 5 deadline looms, although there are indications he’ll move to phase it out.