The Latest: US officials open civil rights investigation

Image License Photo: Zain Khan / Twitter / MGN

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Latest on the white nationalist rally being held in Charlottesville (all times local):

11:10 p.m.

U.S. officials have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly car attack that took place amid clashes of white nationalists and counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The investigation was announced late Saturday by officials of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia and the Richmond field office of the FBI.

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has begun the investigation and will have the full support of the Justice Department.

Sessions says, "The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice."

He adds, "When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated."

9:40 p.m.

Authorities say a 20-year-old Ohio man accused of driving a car into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

The Charlottesville Police Department said in a statement Saturday night that James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio also faces three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, said Fields was in custody there Saturday night. Kumer says he doesn't believe Fields has obtained an attorney yet.

He says a bond hearing is scheduled for Monday.

----------------------------------------------------------

4 p.m.

A state official said the driver of a car that plowed into a group of marchers in Charlottesville is in police custody.

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran said the driver, a man, has been arrested.

Moran did not immediately provide a name of the driver.

Witnesses say a car plowed into a crowd of people who were protesting a rally, which was held by white nationalists who oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee by the city of Charlottesville. Officials say one person was killed and at least 26 were treated at local hospitals.

3:45 p.m.

A hospital official says one person has died and 19 were injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville.

University of Virginia Medical Center spokeswoman Angela Taylor confirmed the death to The Associated Press.

The mayor of Charlottesville said via Twitter on Saturday that he is "heartbroken" to announce that a "life has been lost." He did not provide details.

Witnesses say a car plowed into a crowd of people who were protesting the rally, which was held by white nationalists who oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee by the city of Charlottesville.

-----------------------------------------

2 p.m.

Authorities are on the scene after a vehicle plowed into a group of people marching peacefully through downtown Charlottesville.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least one person on the ground receiving medical treatment immediately afterward the incident. It occurred approximately two hours after violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters.

The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.

___

1:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting about the violence that has erupted amid a white supremacist march in Virginia.

Trump tweeted Saturday that "we ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for." He then wrote "There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"

The demonstrations began Friday in Charlottesville with white nationalists marching through town and while carrying lit torches. The demonstrators then clashed with counter-protesters.

Some of the white nationalists cited Trump's victory as validation for their beliefs.

The White House was silent for hours about the clashes except for a solitary tweet from First Lady Melania Trump. The president has received previous criticism for being slow to condemn acts of hate done in his name.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Hundreds of people are facing off in Charlottesville ahead of a white nationalist rally planned in the Virginia city's downtown.

Rally supporters and counter-protesters screamed, chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday morning.

Men dressed in militia uniforms were carrying shields and openly carrying long guns.

Right-wing blogger Jason Kessler planned what he called a "pro-white" rally to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a city park. Thousands of people are expected to pack the area.

There were also fights Friday night, when hundreds of white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches.

A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured.



 
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus