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Police hone tactics to quell violence at hate-fueled rallies - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Police hone tactics to quell violence at hate-fueled rallies

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By ERIK SCHELZIG and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
Associated Press

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Law enforcement agencies around the country are honing their responses to an increasing number of rallies held by far-right groups as they struggle to balance free-speech rights with public safety. Authorities also are comparing notes and taking the lead from their counterparts when they see positive results.

University of Florida Police Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick says she learned from police in Berkeley, California, that it's important to "act quickly" when violence erupts.

At the heart of the changes is a determination to prevent a repeat of the bloodshed resulting from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, when a woman was killed by a car that plowed into a group of counterprotesters.

A visibly restrained police response led to reports that officials had given explicit "stand-down" orders not to intervene, something authorities denied.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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