The Latest: Organizer booed, pushed in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - 2:40 p.m.

Credit: Virginia State Police

The man who organized a rally in Charlottesville that sparked violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters tried to hold a news conference a day after the deadly event, but a crowd of several hundred booed him and forced him away from the lectern.

Jason Kessler is a blogger based in Charlottesville, and as he came out to speak Sunday afternoon near City Hall, he was surrounded by cameras and people. Some people chanted and made noises with drums and other instruments. Among the chants: "You're wearing the wrong hood," a reference to the Ku Klux Klan.

Kessler mimicked looking at his watch and indicated he'd wait to speak.

A few people approached, crossing the line of TV cameras.

One man pushed Kessler. A woman tackled him.

Kessler asked state troopers on the scene for help. Eventually they escorted him off. State police say troopers approached the area as the crowd got aggressive but made no arrests.
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12:30 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is calling on President Donald Trump to more strongly condemn the bigotry and violence that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend.

Democrat McAuliffe told reporters at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville on Sunday that angry political rhetoric needs to stop.

He says the Republican president "needs to come out stronger" against the actions of white supremacists. The governor says "they are Nazis and they are here to hurt American citizens, and he needs to call them out for what they are, no question."

McAuliffe spoke to Trump on Saturday about the violence in downtown Charlottesville. He says "twice I said to him we have to stop this hateful speech, this rhetoric."

The governor says protesters were "emboldened to walk around our streets with weapons and to spew hatred."

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9:30 a.m.

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."

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.

The rally's purpose was to condemn a decision by the city to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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7:23 a.m.

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 Visit 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.

2:21 a.m.

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."

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.

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11:54 p.m.

Three more men have been arrested in connection to the violent clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville.

The Virginia State Police announced late Saturday that Troy Dunigan, a 21-year-old from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was charged with disorderly conduct; Jacob L. Smith, a 21-year-old from Louisa, Virginia, was charged with assault and battery; and James M. O'Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Florida, was charged with carrying a concealed handgun.

Three people died during the violent day in Charlottesville.

A 32-year-old woman was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of protesters. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old from Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder.

Two state police troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed in the woods on the outskirts of town.

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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."

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11 p.m.

A white nationalist blames police for the violence that erupted before and after a rally where he was scheduled to speak before it turned deadly.

Richard Spencer told The Associated Press on Saturday that he doesn't take responsibility for the violence and accused state and local police of endangering lives in how they handled the rally.

Spencer said that he "did not attempt to engage in any kind of violence. So the idea that I could be held responsible is absurd. It's like blaming the fire department for a fire."

He said that he was pepper-sprayed twice during the day.

Spencer said he recommended that people should disperse after the state of emergency was declared.

Spencer also said he found President Donald Trump's comments on the Charlottesville violence to be "rather vague and kind of lame."

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10:25 p.m.

A woman who identified herself as the mother of the man accused of driving his car into a crowd of peaceful protesters says he told her he was going to the rally.

Samantha Bloom, of Ohio, confirmed details about her son's car and his trip to Virginia, saying she received a text from him last week that said he'd gotten some time off from work and was going to a rally.

She said her son hadn't given her any details about the rally but that she told him "to be careful" and to peaceful.

Bloom became visibly upset as she learned that dozens of people were injured during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Bloom said she and Fields had just relocated to the Toledo area from Florence, Kentucky, a Cincinnati, Ohio, suburb

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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.

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8:45 p.m.

Virginia state police said one of their agency's helicopters crashed Saturday outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers.

Police said the helicopter was assisting law enforcement officers monitoring the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Police said Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton were killed in the crash.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.

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This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates' first name. It had been spelled Burke.

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6:35 p.m.

Officials say the deaths of two people in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville, Virginia, have been linked to a violent white nationalist rally earlier in the day.

It was not immediately clear how the crash was connected to the rally. Corinne Geller, a Virignia State Police spokeswoman, says the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened just a few hours after a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting against the white nationalist rally. One person was killed and at least two dozen were hurt.
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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."

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CNN is reporting the identity of the suspect who is accused of driving a car into a crowd of people at the rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Officials with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail said twenty-year-old James Alex Jones Jr. has been arrested in connection to the deadly crash.

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4:20 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.
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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, which 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.

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1:20 p.m.

First Lady Melania Trump is calling for peace after violent clashes broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Trump said Saturday on Twitter: "Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence."

Hundreds of white nationalists and counter protestors faced off Saturday in downtown Charlottesville, with several violent clashes erupting.

It's the latest confrontation in the city since it voted to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.



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Protestors have been arrested at the site of Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, state police say.

The unspecified number of arrests began shortly after police made a declaration of unlawful assembly at Emancipation Park, the state police said on Twitter.

[Breaking news update, published at 12:10 p.m. ET]

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency "to aid state response to violence" ahead of Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, according to a post on his Twitter account.

[Breaking news update, published at 11:57 a.m ET]

The city of Charlottesville has declared Saturday's gathering at Emancipation Park -- site of the scheduled "Unite the Right" rally" of white nationalists and right-wing protesters -- an unlawful assembly. Police officers are speaking on bullhorns, directing people to leave the park.

CNN video shows police in riot gear standing shoulder to shoulder behind their shields. Some people appear to be leaving the park.
City officials also declared a local emergency, which will allow officials to request additional resources, if needed, to respond.



 
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