One person is dead in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white nationalist rally and counterprotest turned violent and were called off by police, and later a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators marching down a street, causing injuries.
According to officials, several people were injured.
An Associated Press reporter saw at least one person on the ground receiving medical treatment immediately after the incident. Video on social media showed more than one vehicle involved in the incident.
The car plowed into the crowd two hours after police shut down a white nationalist rally before it could even begin in a Charlottesville, VA park Saturday after hours of violent brawls between white supremacists and counter protesters.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency — after which authorities ordered hundreds of people out of the downtown Charlottesville park, where hundreds of right wing activists, holding shields and swinging clubs, were protesting the removal of a Confederate statue.
Among those attending were Ku Klux Plan Imperial Wizard David Duke, alt-right leader Richard Spencer and white nationalist Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer.
The hundreds of counter-protestors included Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.
Protestors threw punches, hurled plastic bottles and sprayed chemical irritants on each other. Several men were seen with blood running down their faces.
Using megaphones, cops ordered everyone out of Emancipation Park at about 11:40 a.m. The rally had been scheduled for noon.
The violence erupted soon after hundreds of far-right protestors poured into the park where officials plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Charlottesville and Virginia state police in riot gear stood nearby but at first did nothing to break up the fighting, the Washington Post reported. A large group of self-described “militia” wearing combat gear and bearing long guns also did not stop the brawls.
After cops cleared them from the park, the white nationalists, carrying Confederate flags and shouting racist slogans, marched through downtown Market St., where skirmishes continued to break out into the early afternoon.
Saturday’s rally comes after torch-carrying white nationalists, yelling “white lives matter” and Nazi slogans, marched through the University of Virginia Friday night. Counter-protestors said they were sprayed with pepper spray and lighter fluid.