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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Latest on incidents related to violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead (all times local)
The man accused of ramming a car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville was photographed that morning holding a shield with the emblem of a white supremacist group.
Vanguard America denies that James Alex Fields Jr. is a member of its group and says it handed out shields to anyone in attendance who wanted them. The Anti-Defamation League says Vanguard America believes the U.S. is an exclusively white nation, and uses propaganda to recruit young white men online and on college campuses. Vanguard America confirmed via Twitter account that members were in Charlottesville on Saturday morning, part of what’s believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade, to rally against plans to remove a Confederate statue. Hundreds of others came to protest against the racism.
In the photo, taken by the New York Daily News , Fields stands with a handful of men, all dressed similarly in the usual Vanguard America uniform of khakis and white polo shirts. The men hold white shields with a black-and-white logo of two axes. The Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee is in the background. The Daily News says the photo was taken about 10:30 a.m. Charlottesville officials say the car crashed into the crowd, killing one, at 1:42 p.m.
Federal law enforcement authorities have started a civil rights investigation into a deadly car crash in Charlottesville that left one protester dead and several others injured.
The FBI said in a statement late Saturday that it is collecting facts and evidence in an ongoing investigation.
Heather Heyer died when a car rammed into a group of people who were protesting the presence of white supremacists who had gathered in the city for a rally.
The car’s driver, James Alex Fields Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and other counts. He could also face federal charges, depending on the outcome of the FBI’s investigation.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the killing of a 32-year-old woman and the injury of others by a vehicle at a rally in the city a “terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon.”
He made the comments in an interview Sunday with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The car’s driver, James Alex Fields Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
The rally’s purpose was to condemn a decision by the city to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will visit two Charlottesville churches and speak to congregants following violent clashes in the city between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters that left three dead.
The governor’s office says in a release that Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam will join McAuliffe at both Sunday services.
McAuliffe and Northam are scheduled to visit Mount Zion First African Baptist Church and First Baptist Church.
Three were killed and dozens were injured amid what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade to protest the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument. A car rammed into a crowd of protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, and a state police helicopter crashed into the woods, leaving two troopers onboard dead.
President Donald Trump criticized the violence and called for a return to law and order. But his critics say his racially-tinged rhetoric has exacerbated the nation’s political tensions and emboldened racists.
The mayor of Charlottesville blamed the nation’s intensifying political divisions for the violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counterprotesters that left three dead.
Mayor Michael Signer on Saturday bemoaned the “very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics.”
This story corrects the name of the church in the second entry to “First Baptist Church.”
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