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1 Dead as Car Slams Into Pedestrians at White Nationalist Rally

Posted: August 12, 2017 at 2:21 pm   /   by
Originally published on this site
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—At least one person is dead and 19 are injured after a vehicle plowed through a group of people Saturday near a demonstration by self-proclaimed white nationalists who were met by counterprotesters.

The incident, reportedly involving a silver or gray Dodge Charger, occurred in the early afternoon during clashes involving white supremacists and members of Black Lives Matter, the self-described anti-fascist organization Antifa, and other groups.

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President Donald Trump addressed the violence during a previously scheduled press conference:

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, a Democerrat, announced the death, and the Associated Press reported 19 injured.

Numerous eyewitnesses told The Daily Caller News Foundation that someone belonging to the white supremacist movement drove the vehicle into pedestrians in the downtown area.

“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Signer said via Twitter. “I urge people of good will—go home.”

Doug McKelway of Fox News, who was on the scene, reported that persons on both sides wore helmets and padded clothing and carried shields and large lengthes of wood.

Fox reported the driver of the car is in custody.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency after violent clashes broke out in the streets of Charlottesville.

Hundreds of law enforcement officials, including Virginia State Police, remained in the streets as tensions rose in the wake of the so-called Unite the Right event.

White supremacist leader David Dukes, who spoke at the event, claimed that his followers were advancing a Trump campaign promise  “to take back” America.

Trump had tweeted earlier, in apparent repudiation of that claim:

First lady Melania Trump, however, tweeted about the need for nonviolence and mutual respect about an hour earlier:

The Charlottesville Police Department initially issued a statement calling the vehicle attack aa three-vehicle accident near the violent clashes.

“Charlottesville Police and Virginia State Police are on the scene of a three-vehicle accident at Water and 4th streets in downtown Charlottesville,” the statement read. “Multiple injuries are reported. People should clear the area to allow emergency medical personnel to respond. We will release more information as we are able.”

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Hours before the crash, around 11:40 a.m., McAuliffe declared the state of emergency, disrupting the main part of the event slated to begin officially at noon. A state of emergency means police are able to disband any and all assemblies at will, regardless of permits obtained in advance.

The event began late Friday night as white nationalists led a march with torches toward the statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Park and chanted slogans such as “You will not replace us.”

Participants in Unite the Right converged Saturday morning at McIntire Park, with shuttles moving white nationalists to Lee Park for the main event.

After police disbanded the main event at Lee Park, shuttles took participants back to McIntire, while others walked.

Some remained in the downtown area, clashing more with Antifa protesters.

Once main event speakers regrouped at McIntire Park, Richard Spencer, president of the National Police Institute, recommended that all attendees move outside the city limits.

Ken McIntyre of The Daily Signal contributed to this report, as did Jonah Bennett of The Daily Caller News Foundation. 

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email [email protected].

The post 1 Dead as Car Slams Into Pedestrians at White Nationalist Rally appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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1 Dead as Car Slams Into Pedestrians at White Nationalist Rally