After one person killed at white nationalist rally in Virginia, Trump blames ‘many sides’

on Aug12

At least one person was killed after a car sped into a crowd of people who were protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, an event marred by brawls that ended with the governor declaring a state of emergency.

“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said in a tweet. “I urge all people of good will — go home.”

At least 19 others were reported injured in the car crash. The Associated Press reported the driver was in police custody. A vehicle hit a group of protesters Saturday afternoon as many rally participants and anti-racism protesters were leaving the area.

Footage from separate witnesses showed a gray sports car with Ohio license plates speeding toward a crowd from at least a block away and then slamming into the back of two vehicles that were surrounded by people, sending bodies flying.

Street medics rushed to the aid of several bloodied victims. State police described the incident as a “three-vehicle crash” and said they were investigating. The graphic footage was captured by witnesses on social media.

In televised remarks, President Trump remarked on the “terrible events” and condemned “in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides, on many sides. “This has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama — it’s been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Trump vowed to restore order and added of the events, “We want to study it, and we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country.”

The day’s chaos first began as far-right groups gathered in the morning for one of their largest demonstrations in at least a decade, with some carrying Nazi and Confederate flags. Groups on the left and the right squared off with sticks and began throwing rocks and other projectiles as testy encounters turned into full street brawls involving dozens of people.

Officials soon declared the “Unite the Right” event an unlawful assembly and began making arrests, sending far-right leaders like white nationalist Richard Spencer fleeing as top Democratic and Republican officials — including Trump — issued statements denouncing the event.

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” Trump said in a tweet. “There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!”

“The hate and bigotry witnessed in #Charlottesville does not reflect American values,” tweeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “I wholeheartedly oppose their actions.”

“The white nationalist demonstration in #Charlottesville is a reprehensible display of racism and hatred that has no place in our society,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Alleged white nationalist to face charges in statehouse brawl that left seven stabbed last year


1:25 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect 19 people injured and include President Trump’s remarks on the day’s events in Charlottesville.

12:45 p.m.: This article was updated with the death of one protester, who was struck by a vehicle.

11:45 a.m.: This article was updated with new details, including a vehicle striking several people.

10:55 a.m.: This article was updated with new details, including a tweet from President Trump denouncing the violence.

9:30 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with Times staff reporting.

This article was originally published at 9 a.m.

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