FBI Probe Underway Into Deadly Crash in Charlottesville

U.S. authorities on Sunday are investigating the outbreak of violence in Virginia following Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally that killed one person and injured more than 30.

Virginia police have not yet provided a motive for a man plowing a car into a crowd of people objecting to the rally, but U.S. attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have opened a civil rights investigation into the crash, an FBI field office said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned the violence.

“When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated,” the attorney general said.

“I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia. The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day,” Sessions said. “U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail.”

Four people have been arrested, including James Fields, a 20-year-old white man from Ohio who is being held in jail on suspicion of crashing the car. The vehicle killed a 32-year-old woman and injured 19 people, five of them critically.

The car that allegedly plowed through a crowd of protestors marching through a downtown shopping district is seen after the vehicle was stopped by police several blocks away August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The car that allegedly plowed through a crowd of protestors marching through a downtown shopping district is seen after the vehicle was stopped by police several blocks away August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Justin Ide)
First responders stand by a car that was struck when a car drove through a group of counter protesters at the “Unite the Right” rally Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (REUTERS/Justin Ide)

Federal authorities were also looking into a helicopter crash on Saturday that killed two Virginiastate policemen aiding efforts to quell the clashes.

On Sunday, the White House said in a statement that Trump’s remarks on Saturday condemned all forms of violence and bigotry, including neo-Nazi groups and the Ku Klux Klan.

“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups,” the White House said. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”

Before the White House statement, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser, appealed on Twitter for Americans to “be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville.” She also posted: “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, declared an emergency and halted Saturday’s planned rally, but that did not stop the violence.

About 15 people were injured after rival groups fought pitched battles using fists, rocks and pepper spray.

“There is no place for you here,” McAuliffe said, addressing white supremacists. “There is no place for you in America.”

By Reuters, Fox News Contributed to this Report

 
 
 
 
 
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