A car run in on a group of demonstrators at the white nationalist rally in the city of Charlottesville, in the state of Virginia. The protesters held a counter protest against a planned meeting of White Nationalists groups in the university town. The incident caused one person to die and injured nineteen people, according to local emergency services. The mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer, deplores Twitter that “a life has been lost” and calls “everyone with a good will” to go home.
At a press conference later, the Virginia governor reported that the death toll following the protests in Charlottesville had risen to three. The governor mentioned a helicopter crash, where two people were killed later on Saturday night. A police helicopter suspected of deployed in protests was crashed just outside the city. Two passengers were killed.
The 20-year-old driver of the car is arrested, reports AP agency. It is still unclear whether the person intentionally entered the group, consisting of several hundred people walking through the Charlottesville streets. In the video, it can be seen that the vehicle hits many people and then reverses at a high pace.
Beware the pictures are shocking:
At the time of the incident, a counter demonstration was underway. The protesters at the white nationalist rally wanted to make an opposition to the hundreds of people who came together to attend the so-called ‘Unite the Right' meeting. They are nationalists, supporters of so-called ‘alt-right' and neo-nazis. They called lies as “Jews will not replace us”.
The authorities announced Saturday a state of emergency to intervene more quickly. Opponents of the extreme right-hand marsh had traveled to Charlottesville in great numbers. The police were massively present in the city to keep the two groups apart, but could not prevent fighting between the two groups. In addition, the police launched tear gas, according to a local Indy Star reporter.
In total, 34 people were injured on Saturday, reports Reuters.
James Alex Fields Jr, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failing to stop at a fatal accident. Photograph: Reuters
The reason for the demonstration is the intention to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee from the American Civil War. Robert Lee the commander of the army of the southern states more than 150 years ago. That army fought for more self-government and the preservation of slavery. For the opponents of the statue it is above all a symbol of white superiority ideas.
The statue is in Emancipate Park, formerly known as Lee Park. That name has already been modified, as in recent years in the south of the United States several honors to the Confederation have disappeared.
President Donald Trump and Justice Minister Jeff Sessions convicted the violence. Trump spoke of “violence from many sides”. He called for mutual respect and charity.
Earlier in the day, Trump had already ruled out “hate and violence” in Charlottesville. “We must all be united and condemn all hatred for state. There is no place for this type of violence in America,” he wrote on Twitter.
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
His wife Melania joined him. “Our country welcomes the freedom of expression, but let's communicate without hate in our hearts. Of violence comes nothing good,” they twittered about three-quarters earlier.
US city calls emergency state to extreme right-wing demonstration US city calls emergency state to extreme right-wing demonstration
Some hundreds of extreme right-wing protesters fled across the university campus of the city on Friday evenings. Lets were called against Jews, gays and immigrants.
WATCH: White nationalists and counter-protesters clash at Charlottesville rally https://t.co/4qH1yJjrGy
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 12, 2017
This is the second weekend of protests by extreme right-wing groups in Charlottesville in a month's time. In early July, Ku Klux Klan fans traveled to the city to express their dissatisfaction about the same issue.