People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., August 13 (AP) — The mayor of Charlottesville blamed the nation’s intensifying political divisions for the violent clashes between white supremacist groups and counter-protesters that left three dead.
Mayor Michael Signer on Saturday bemoaned the “very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics.”
Three were killed and dozens were injured amid what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade to protest the city’s decision to remove a Confederate monument. A car rammed into a crowd of protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, and a state police helicopter crashed into the woods, leaving two troopers onboard dead.
President Donald Trump criticized the violence and called for a return to law and order. But his critics say his racially-tinged rhetoric has exacerbated the nation’s political tensions and emboldened racists.