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Charlottesville leaders applaud incredible teamwork during weekend of protest

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Charlottesville leaders are crediting more than 1,000 police officers and support staff for “successful outcomes” one year after a deadly white supremacist rally shook the city.

“I’m proud of the efforts of the City of Charlottesville public safety personnel and police and fire but so many other departments contributed in our efforts in the greatest demonstration of teamwork in my career,” said Charlottesville Interim City Manager Mike Murphy.

“We met our expectations,” said VSP Superintendent Colonel Gary Settle. “The incident action plan we put together as a group was executed almost flawlessly and allowed success,” he added.

Investigators say three officers were assaulted in two incidents. One of those happened Saturday night police say by a female.

“[She] attacked two officers right in the middle as they were responding to a call. Punched both of them,” said Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney. “When you think about a rapidly evolving situation that the officers who were assaulted, the greater good was to stay focused on keeping the community safe.”

Police are searching for those responsible and say they will prosecute to the fullest.

Officials credited law enforcement for their great restraint despite getting push back from protestors.

“While the first amendment accords broad protections to speech, likening police badges to torches derogates the front-line law enforcement professionals who risk their personal safety to keep our community safe,” said Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci. “This weekend’s combined effort of our law enforcement community should be applauded not condemned.”

Eight arrests were made throughout the weekend. Emergency crews responded to nine calls. Two people were transported to the University of Virginia Hospital and three officers were treated for heat related illnesses.

Governor Ralph Northam praised the planning and execution of the unified command system.

The 'Unite the Right' rally in August of 2017, which quickly turned violent, began amidst controversy regarding the removal of Confederate monuments.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car, driven by a white supremacist, slammed into counter-protestors. Troopers Lt. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates were also killed when their helicopter crashed during the rallies. Dozens of others were injured.

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