Local gov’ts take 2nd look at rally permit rules

Posted: Updated:
WESTPORT -

Many Connecticut municipalities are taking a second look at how and when they issue permits for rallies after one turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

Organizers of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville had obtained a legal permit to be there, as President Donald Trump said when responding to the violence.

"Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee," Trump said.

Earlier this year, a similar group inquired about holding a rally in Westport after the town held a controversial essay contest on white privilege. The group never followed up, but now local governments are reviewing their policies.

In Stamford, an official says the city currently turns down permits when crowds are expected to be too large -- but not over concerns of violence. Not yet, at least.

"We haven't had a type yet that would make us believe that there could be a security issue," says Ernie Orgera, Stamford's operations director. "I think something like this, the police department would have to make that decision."

Still, the Anti-Defamation League says hate crimes are up sharply across western Connecticut, and that about 500 extremists live in the region. In Charlottesville, the rally drew more people from all over the country.

"Government officials can restrict certain things by time, manner, place," says Steve Ginsberg, a member of the Connecticut ADL.  "And they need to really keep security and safety in mind."

Gov. Dannel Malloy says people have a right to hold rallies -- even hate groups. But he adds, if such a group seeks a permit here, the state police and the governor's office are going to closely scrutinize what the safety risk is before allowing it.

"Any time such a permit is sought, we urge local officials to bring it our attention, particularly to our state police," Malloy says.

  • Connecticut PoliticsPoliticsMore>>

  • Legalized sports betting in CT would have to overcome long odds

    Legalized sports betting in CT would have to overcome long odds

    Thursday, June 14 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-06-14 23:54:40 GMT
    As sports betting became legal Thursday in nearby New Jersey, Gov. Dannel Malloy said it's a longshot here in Connecticut, for now.As sports betting became legal Thursday in nearby New Jersey, Gov. Dannel Malloy said it's a longshot here in Connecticut, for now.

    As sports betting became legal Thursday in nearby New Jersey, Gov. Dannel Malloy said it's a longshot here in Connecticut, for now.

    As sports betting became legal Thursday in nearby New Jersey, Gov. Dannel Malloy said it's a longshot here in Connecticut, for now.

  • CT governor candidates pitch job creation to tech leaders

    CT governor candidates pitch job creation to tech leaders

    Wednesday, June 13 2018 6:54 PM EDT2018-06-13 22:54:31 GMT

    The top contenders in the Connecticut gubernatorial race were in Trumbull Wednesday to tell tech company CEOs how they can bring more information technology jobs to the state.

    The top contenders in the Connecticut gubernatorial race were in Trumbull Wednesday to tell tech company CEOs how they can bring more information technology jobs to the state.

  • First selectman race neck-and-neck in New Canaan

    First selectman race neck-and-neck in New Canaan

    Wednesday, November 8 2017 1:13 AM EST2017-11-08 06:13:39 GMT

    With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican candidate Kevin Moynihan edged Democrat Kit Devereaux by just 33 votes -- but that total didn't include absentee ballots in the race for first selectman in New Canaan.

    With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Republican candidate Kevin Moynihan edged Democrat Kit Devereaux by just 33 votes -- but that total didn't include absentee ballots in the race for first selectman in New Canaan.

  • Connecticut Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Shelton man gets 25 years for shooting wife in head

    Shelton man gets 25 years for shooting wife in head

    Jun 19, 2018 05:01 PM2018-06-19 21:01:00 GMT
    Thomas Infante accepted a plea deal that calls for his 40-year sentence to be suspended after 25 years.Thomas Infante accepted a plea deal that calls for his 40-year sentence to be suspended after 25 years.

    A Milford court sentenced a Shelton man to decades in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his wife's death.

    A Milford court sentenced a Shelton man to decades in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his wife's death.

  • Forecast: Warm, late-day showers on Wednesday

    Forecast: Warm, late-day showers on Wednesday

    News 12 Connecticut Weather ForecastNews 12 Connecticut Weather Forecast

    Here's the latest News 12 Connecticut weather update.

    Here's the latest News 12 Connecticut weather update.

  • Woman critical after Candlewood Lake boating accident

    Woman critical after Candlewood Lake boating accident

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 8:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 00:43:46 GMT
    A boating accident on Candlewood Lake left a woman in critical condition Tuesday, officials say.A boating accident on Candlewood Lake left a woman in critical condition Tuesday, officials say.

    A boating accident on Candlewood Lake left a woman in critical condition Tuesday, officials say.

    A boating accident on Candlewood Lake left a woman in critical condition Tuesday, officials say.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."