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Charlottesville Insists It Did Provide Police Protection To Synagogue

(JTA) — Local officials said police provided protection to a synagogue during a far-right gathering last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., refuting a claim by a Jewish community leader that the it had refused to do so.

On Friday, Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones said it “is simply not the case that Congregation Beth Israel was left unguarded” during Saturday’s event, when neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered in the Virginia city.

“Police stationed an officer on the corner of the block where the synagogue is located plus another 32 officers about one block away in the other direction. In addition we had snipers on a rooftop in close proximity whose primary responsibility was to monitor a two block radius which included Beth Israel,” Jones said in a statement to JTA.

The synagogue’s president, Alan Zimmerman, had written in a blog post earlier this week that “[t]he police department refused to provide us with an officer during morning services.”

Rabbi Tom Gutherz said he and Zimmerman had met with the police on Wednesday and “officials reviewed with us the security provisions…. The steps they took were carefully considered to protect us and were effective.”

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