Mayor Tomlinson releases statement on violent VA white nationalists rally

Published: Aug. 13, 2017 at 5:24 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:56 PM EDT
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(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)
(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)
(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)
(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)
(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)
(Source: Associated Press/Raycom Media)

(WTVM/AP) – Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has released a statement following the violent white nationalist protest this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Three people were killed and dozens of people were injured Saturday as tensions boiled over when a car rammed into a crowd of protesters and a state police helicopter crashed into the woods.

In a Facebook post, Tomlinson wrote: "I am outraged and sickened by the neo-fascist violence in the great city of Charlottesville. Hate and violence are not American and will not be tolerated."

The chaos erupted around what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade - including neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan who descended on the city to "take America back" by rallying against plans to remove a Confederate statue.

Hundreds came to protest against the racism. There were street brawls and violent clashes; the governor declared a state of emergency, police in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead.

President Donald Trump is drawing criticism for not explicitly denouncing white supremacists in the aftermath of violent clashes in Virginia, with lawmakers saying he needs to take a public stand against groups that espouse racism and hate.

"Hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now," President Trump said. "We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection for each other."

Trump condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides." He added: "It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time."

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