One person is dead in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white nationalist rally and counterprotest turned violent and were called off by police, and later a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators marching down a street, causing injuries.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted Saturday afternoon local that “a life has been lost.”
I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will–go home.
— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 12, 2017
Video taken earlier in the afternoon shows crowds walking down a street in Charlottesville as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a silver or gray vehicle rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters. The driver backs up and rapidly flees the scene.
Warning: The video contains graphic images.
It’s unclear at this time whether or not the driver of the vehicle acted intentionally.
The day began with a gathering for an Unite the Right rally backed by white nationalist groups that was supposed to get underway at noon. Clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters just before the rally was to begin led to a declaration of emergency in the city and to police ordering the crowds to disperse.
Charlottesville has become a flash point for both white nationalists and protesters seeking to counter them following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.
The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.
President Trump joined a chorus of figures from across the political spectrum today to speak out against the white nationalist rally that took place, saying, “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!”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.