State Of Emergency As White Nationalist Rally In Charlottesville Turns Violent

At least three people were killed and 35 injured after a violence-filled Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists had gathered for one of their largest rallies in at least a decade, only to see their event end in chaos and national controversy.

Bloody street brawls broke out between dozens of anti-racism activists and far-right attendees, many of whom carried shields, weapons and Nazi and Confederate battle flags. One woman was killed when a driver plowed a sports car into a crowd of protesters; he was arrested and charged with murder and other crimes. Two troopers died when a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed near the city after monitoring the chaos.

By the end of the day, top political officials around the nation, both Republicans and Democrats, were nearly unanimous in denouncing racism and the violence that stemmed from the rally, which was called off before it could even begin.

But in a television statement that drew criticism from many of his fellow Republicans, as well as from Democrats, President Trump blamed the violence “on many sides, on many sides.” As he did repeatedly during his presidential campaign, Trump avoided direct criticism of the nation’s burgeoning white nationalist movement, whose leaders have openly and repeatedly embraced Trump’s presidency.

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