Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Dramatic Photos: Violent Clashes at White Nationalist Rally in Virginia

Dramatic Photos: Violent Clashes at White Nationalist Rally in Virginia

The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances under which a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally held Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

State police said that two of its officers died in a helicopter crash a few hours after the auto incident.

The woman was killed after police say James Alex Fields, who is in police custody, drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters as they walked in the street.

President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the "hatred and bigotry" broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides", Trump said in a statement from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending his summer vacation.

"This is about an anti-white climate within the Western world and the need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do", he said in an interview.

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And Senator Orrin Hatch tweeted: "We should call evil by its name. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection- really, I say this so strongly, true affection for each other".

Trump made a statement to the media earlier today, but he has been slammed for failing to denounce or even specifically mention any of the white supremacist groups involved in the demonstration, which was billed as a Unite The Right rally.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of NY made an official statement earlier today, saying that there are not "many sides" to the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville and rebuking Trump for his response.

Shortly after the rally had been canceled in Charlottesville, a auto rammed into people in a street as they appeared to be leaving a counterprotest rally.

The male driver has been taken into custody and police were treating the incident as a "criminal homicide", he said. He saluted law enforcement for their response and said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, about the attack. "We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump", he added.

"There were just a few cars that counter-protesters were blocking", the man said.

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Speaking at a press conference, McAuliffe directly addressed the "white supremacists and the Nazis" who were behind the attack in Charlottesville, telling them to "go home and never come back" and saying "you are not wanted in this great commonwealth".

Charlottesville has become a flash point for white nationalists and protesters seeking to counter them since a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park but renamed in June as Emancipation Park. Since then, the city has been a focus of white nationalists.

Among the white supremacists at Saturday's rally were alt-right leader Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke.

He said: "I'm not going to make any bones about it". "As one of the oldest and largest racial justice organizations in our country, we understand the human devastation discrimination brings, and the urgency of acting now to combat discrimination and hate".

The Bell 407 helicopter with two people on board crashed 7 miles south west of Charlottesville, Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said in an email.

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