Va. gov., Charlottesville declare state of emergency ahead of rally anniversary
14 August, 2018, 02:24 | Author: Essie Rivera
Last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville saw dozens of violent outburst, and turned deadly - when a Dodge Charger allegedly driven by James Fields rammed into other cars, and a crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Handguns, however, will not be banned, because of state and federal gun rights law, officials said. During the protests, a auto drove into the crowd of people, as a result of which a woman was killed.
These state of emergency declarations will enhance planning and cooperative response efforts that have been in development since March.
The FBI believes that Russian Federation is involved in organizing last year's protests in Charlottesville.
The Virginia state of emergency will mobilize and fund state resources from the state Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Department of health, National Guard and other agencies. With regard to the security area in downtown Charlottesville, law enforcement personnel will man two entry points for pedestrians seeking to exit the security area.
Meanwhile, Alan Popovsky, who owns several restaurants with president themes in D.C., said he plans to serve Sunday brunch at his restaurant, Lincoln, and then close for dinner, after his staff said they were anxious about their safety.
Referring to Russian Federation, the congressman said, "They use events like this divisive racial fight. and this is the sort of thing they do". The event drew hundreds of white nationalists from across the country to the Virginia college town.
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White nationalist groups and counter-protesters are staging similar dueling protests on Sunday in Washington, D.C., marking a year since the Charlottesville rally.
State police and Charlottesville police were unable to communicate by radio the day of the rally because they were on different channels, the report said, and commanders "instructed their officers not to intervene in all but the most serious physical confrontations".
The rally, organized to protest plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from downtown park, quickly deteriorated into clashes, prompting officials to declare the event illegal.
The violence culminated with a man driving a vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 people. He told a judge in July that he is under treatment for several mental disorders including bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and ADHD.
Officers will endeavor to keep the two sides separate, Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said.
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