Before Charlottesville Was in the Spotlight, Police Arrested Their Most Prominent Critic in the Middle of the Night

by Alex Emmons from the Intercept

Jeff Fogel woke to the sound of someone furiously banging on his door. He quickly threw on a T-shirt and pajama bottoms while the banging continued, and stole a glance at his alarm clock before running downstairs. It was 12:30 a.m. in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When Fogel opened the door, he couldn’t believe what he saw. He was face-to-face with five police officers on his front porch and behind them, five police cars lit up the neighboring houses red and blue with their flashing lights.

As one of the city’s leading defense attorneys, Fogel was on a first-name basis with a lot of Charlottesville’s top cops, but he was confused about why they would seek him out so late. As a joke, Fogel put out his hands, wrists pressed together in a handcuff position. “Haha. You’re all here to arrest me, right?”

It wasn’t a joke. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he half-shouted…

Fogel moved to Charlottesville and set up a private practice in 2007. He took cases that involved false arrests and excessive force, among other abuses, and quickly established himself as one of the city’s leading defense attorneys.

To give a cheeky example, in 2012 Fogel handled the case of a black man who was arrested for saying “fuck you” to a patrol officer. The judge threw out the case, because cursing at a cop is protected speech. Fogel helped him sue the department for damages, and the city settled.

Fogel has also been an outspoken critic of the city’s stop-and-frisk system. Throughout the years, he told me, the department’s data has shown that around 70 to 80 percent of the people stopped were black, even though the population of Charlottesville is only 20 percent black…

[read more here]

3 Responses

  1. Aaron C Rouse is married to Dublin CA Unified School District Trustee Megan Rouse. The father of Megan Rouse is John Podesta.

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