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Charlottesville-area police monitoring planned national 'Day of Hate'

Neo-Nazi groups across the U.S. are planning a national “Day of Hate” against Jewish communities in American cities on Saturday.

Charlottesville and University of Virginia police departments on Friday said they had not heard of any planned events in the area but they were aware of the planned demonstrations in other cities and were monitoring the matter locally.

Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis said he was in touch with the Virginia Fusion Center, which is described by the Department of Homeland Security as “a collaborative effort of state and federal agencies working in conjunction with local partners to share resources, expertise, and/or information to better identify, detect, prevent, and respond to terrorist and criminal activity utilizing an all crimes/all hazards approach.”

“If there’s something going on, I’m going to be made aware of it,” Kochis said.

“At this point, we’re on alert,” said Chris Easton, assistant chief of police at the UVa Police Department. “We are aware and we are monitoring. We’ve not heard of anything that’s supposed to happen. We’re being vigilant.”

News began to circulate this past week that neo-Nazi groups across the country, specifically the National Socialist Movement, were planning a nationwide campaign in Jewish communities.

The National Socialist Movement is the largest neo-Nazi group in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Law enforcement agencies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles said they would be increasing patrols in their respective cities this weekend in response.

According to a leaked internal memo by the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau, online organizers are “instructing likeminded individuals to drop banners, place stickers and flyers, or scrawl graffiti as a form of biased so-called action.”

Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department also said in statements that they were aware of and monitoring planned events on Saturday but there was “no actionable intelligence” yet.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said that the local police and FBI offices were both “well aware” of the situation and urged communities to stand together against anti-Jewish hate.

In Charlottesville, police said they encouraged the public to report any suspicious activity in the area.

“The advice we would give is for people, if they see anything suspicious or out of place, please call. We’re respond accordingly and investigate,” Easton said. “We welcome any information that anybody has.”


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