Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer defended the police and their response to protests by white nationalists and subsequently by counter-protesters that turned deadly and violent on Saturday.
John Dickerson, host of CBS' Face the Nation, pointed out to Signer a Washington Post story said the police efforts, "at first seemed an anemic response from authorities."
"You know, I think that's — that's totally mistaken," Signer said.
"We had the single largest assembly of law enforcement officers since 9/11, almost a thousand law enforcement personnel."
Both the white nationalist protesters and those from the counter-protesters have made accusations the police should have done more to stay between the two groups.
Lt. Joseph Hatter, a commander with the Charlottesville Police Department, is quoted by numerous media outlets as stating officers tried to create separate areas for protesters and counter-protesters to "reduce the violence."
"It didn't work, did it?" Hatter said. "I think there was a plan to have them separated. They didn't want to be separated."
Signer, a Democrat, noted the event location was changed, which kept law enforcement changing their plans in the lead-up to the protests.
"We even went as far as, our city manager made a decision on the Monday before the weekend when the rally was scheduled, to move the permit, the location for the rally, to a larger park, a hundred-acre park within the city borders, which would have provided even more speech, and would have allowed all that assembly, with armed very — people with very strong opinions for this to occur longer," Signer explained.
"That was struck down by a federal judge, who forced us to have this event in very crowded, dense downtown Charlottesville, on the eve of the event at 9:00. So I regret that happened. We had a very strong security plan in place with a lot of folks to allow people to express their views. Unfortunately they didn't want to do it peaceably. And so that's what happened."
Signer also addressed concerns there may be more demonstrations in Charlottesville.
"I think we have a responsibility as a government sworn to the Constitution to not just allow free speech, but to protect it, as long as it's done peaceably, which is what we attempted to do this weekend," Signer explained. "If you have folks who come in and act unpeacebly, you'll get unlawful assembly declared, which is what happened yesterday."