CMPD: Still no permits issued for 'anti-communist' torch march but 'we will be prepared'

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - CMPD officials began their weekly media briefing reiterating their preparedness if in fact an "anti-communist" torch march comes to uptown Charlotte in late December.

Deputy Chief Jeff Estes told reporters his officers "will be prepared on that date" but they also haven't been able to confirm whether or not there will even be a march.

"As far as we know no one has been contacted here or from the city about this event," said Estes.

The Deputy Chief said CMPD reached out to organizers of the "anti-communist" torch march shortly after they tracked down the social media post. Estes said they tried to verify information about the protest but said they still have yet to receive a response.

"Should the event take place we are absolutely sworn to uphold the rights of those who protest no matter what the message is," said Deputy Chief Estes. "Whether we agree or not."

According to the Charlotte Observer, a counterprotest has been created after people feared a repeat of violence seen at a white nationalist and white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va.

The "Charlotte Against Racism/White Supremacy" protest is scheduled for Dec. 28 in Marshall Park, where the group Anticom is planning a "March Against Communism."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police did say they will not tolerate violence or property damage. Estes said that Chief Putney was "adamant about that."

According to the Observer, Anticom has called on participants to bring torches, gear, flags and guns to the event, where speakers were scheduled to include white nationalist Richard Spencer.

The group describes its mission as defending communities against "leftist terrorists and rioters," and plans to march into uptown Charlotte once night falls to "show the size (of) our ranks," according to the announcement.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.