Police, FBI probe violence at white supremacists’ rally

Reuters | Published: August 14, 2017 03:42:24 | Updated: October 24, 2017 13:37:07

US authorities will investigate on Sunday the violence stemming from a white nationalist rally a day earlier that killed one person and injured more than 30.

The violence challenges US President Donald Trump's leadership, says a reports on Reuters. 

The unrest in the southern college town presented Trump with a domestic crisis, with many on both left and right criticising him for waiting too long to address it and then, when he did so, failing to explicitly condemn the white-supremacist marchers who ignited the melee.

"Absolutely we are going to have further demonstrations in Charlottesville, because our constitutional rights are being denied," said Jason Kessler, identified by civil rights groups as a white nationalist blogger. He did not specify when.

Kessler organised the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville against a plan to remove a statue to Confederate war hero Robert E. Lee from a park, saying in a telephone interview those who came in support will not back down.

Four people were arrested in the violence, including James Fields, a 20-year-old white man from Ohio being held in gaol on suspicion of ploughing a car into a crowd of counter-protesters on Saturday, killing a 32 year-old woman and injuring 19, five of them critically.

Police have not yet provided a motive for the incident but US attorneys and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have opened a civil rights investigation into the crash, an FBI field office said.

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

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

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