Trump condemns racism and violence ahead of anniversary of fatal Charlottesville rally

Adjust Comment Print

President Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged the grim anniversary of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly past year - and is regarded as one of the worst weeks in his presidency.

One year after Susan Bro's daughter was killed when a auto plowed into counterprotesters at a rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, Bro plans to mark the tragedy by going to the street where it happened.

White supremacists are set to rally outside the White House on Sunday, one year after torch-wielding neo-Nazis clashed with counter demonstrators in a deadly protest that highlighted the growing boldness of the extreme right in the United States.

Taking to Twitter ahead of a controversial "Unite the Right 2" white supremacist rally tomorrow in Washington, Trump decried the "senseless death and division" spawned by what he called the "riots in Charlottesville". We must come together as a nation, ' he wrote on Saturday morning. 'I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!

"We've always acted as if black lives never mattered, as if people of color never mattered", Bro told Cooper on Full Circle.

August 12 marks the day when members of the alt-right and white supremacist groups protested Charlottesville's decision to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.

The Rally for Justice began as a demonstration on UVA's Grounds on Saturday, but the group make its way through the streets of Charlottesville and all the way to the Downtown Mall. Gov. Northam declared a state of emergency in advance, allowing Charlottesville to have a heavy police presence.

Fighting broke out between attendees and counterprotesters that day.

Only took him a year.


Organizers of #OccupyLafayettePark, a civil rights group that holds nightly protests in the square, held up posters reading "Love America, Hate Trump" and "Defend The District From White Supremacy" just a few steps away from the White House.

In Washington, hundreds of extra law-enforcement officers were brought in for the rally, promoted by white supremacist and anti-Semite Jason Kessler.

The mother of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was hit by a vehicle and killed last year, has also spoken publicly leading up to the anniversary. The day's death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor's motorcade crashed, killing two troopers. An extensive review identified "gaps" in planning and communication among agencies, culminating in this year's plan, Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said. Trump said in a stunning press conference last August. Bro's desk at the Heather Heyer Foundation sports one of Heyer's favorite sayings: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention".

An independent investigation of the rally violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos previous year stemmed from a passive response by law enforcement and poor preparation and coordination between state and city police.