Anger over rally violence boils over in Charlottesville
Published 8:27 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Anger boiled over at the first Charlottesville City Council meeting since a white nationalist rally in the city descended into violent chaos, with some residents screaming and cursing at councilors Monday night and calling for their resignations.
Scores of people packed the council’s chambers, and The Daily Progress reported Mayor Mike Signer was interrupted by shouting several times in the first few minutes of the meeting. As tensions escalated, the meeting was halted. Live video showed protesters standing on a dais with a sign that said, “Blood on your hands.”
After talking with members of the crowd, Councilor Wes Bellamy said the council would drop its agenda and focus on the crowd’s concerns, the newspaper reported.
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Speakers, some yelling and hurling profanities, then took turns addressing the council, some expressing frustration that leaders had granted a permit for the Aug. 12 rally that had turned violent. Others criticized the police response to the event, which drew hundreds of white nationalists and other counter-protesters.
The two sides clashed violently in the street that day, largely uninterrupted by authorities, until the event was declared an unlawful assembly and the crowd was forced to disperse. Later, a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.
The death toll for the day climbed to three when a helicopter that had been monitoring the event and assisting with the governor’s motorcade crashed, killing two state troopers.