The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car ramming Saturday during a protest against a white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the country’s top law enforcement official, said: “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice.” He added, “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”
Virginia’s governor told white supremacists, who had gathered Saturday in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, to “go home” after three people were killed in the violence at a rally and in a helicopter crash that police linked to the protest.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency after fights broke out between armor-clad, shield-carrying white nationalist demonstrators and similarly armed counterprotesters in Charlottesville.
Virginia Governor Tells White Supremacists to ‘Go Home’
“I have a message to all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple: Go home,” McAuliffe said at a news conference. “You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you.”
McAuliffe said on Twitter that he declared the state of emergency “to aid state response to violence at alt-right rally in Charlottesville.”
“The acts and rhetoric in Charlottesville over the past 24 hours are unacceptable and must stop. A right to speech is not a right to violence,” he tweeted.
Later Saturday night, protesters gathered to hear speakers and march peacefully in California cities, including Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and El Cajon in San Diego County.
President Donald Trump, speaking midafternoon from New Jersey, condemned “the egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” in…