Virginia leaders condemn violence in Charlottesville

State of Emergency Declared in Charlottesville After Protests Turn Violent Photo: Zain Khan / Twitter
By  | 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.(WDBJ7) Virginia leaders reacted with condemnation Saturday, after a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville turned violent. One person was killed and at least 19 were injured when a car plowed into a crowd of counter demonstrators.

Following are written statements from Virginia elected leaders, and candidates for statewide office:

U.S. Senator Mark Warner:

“Virginians mourn the life taken in this morning's events and reject this hateful violence in Charlottesville. We condemn the intolerance behind it and those who would pass it off as a legitimate political movement."

“Those who traveled to Virginia to incite unrest don't understand the Virginia-born values that make our country great."

“I have been in touch today with the Governor's Office and the Mayor, and stand prepared to help connect them with any additional federal resources that might be needed. My thoughts are with the victims, the great people of Charlottesville, and the police and first responders who restored order. I will continue to monitor the situation in Charlottesville and pray for its peaceful resolution.”

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine:

"Virginia has come so far in recent decades to put division behind us. Both Anne and I are so proud of this progress. It's sickening to see the displays of violence and bigotry that were brought to Charlottesville by white nationalists over the last 24 hours, which tragically led to injuries and at least one death today. This is not who we are. Charlottesville is a vibrant community that recognizes the deep scars from our past and has rejected hatred in favor of inclusion."

"The fact that people like David Duke cited the President to justify their views is a disturbing reminder that divisive rhetoric has sadly contributed to a climate where individuals who espouse hate feel emboldened. As they seek publicity through their hateful tactics, let's pull together--regardless of party, race or religion--to reject hatred in no uncertain terms and stand together. I'm encouraged by the words of leaders on both sides of the aisle who have spoken out forcefully against what has occurred today, and it's critical that we follow up those words with action that builds a more inclusive future. We call ourselves a Commonwealth because the word signifies community. It's who we are and we won't go backwards."

Earlier in the day, Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement regarding the emergency declaration he authorized Saturday morning.

"At 11:28 a.m., the Virginia State Police contacted me to request a state of emergency and I immediately authorized the declaration. We have maintained close contact with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and other state and local officials on the ground in Charlottesville, and I agree that the situation in Charlottesville warrants an emergency declaration by me, in order to aid City and County law enforcement in their efforts to restore public safety and order in the City of Charlottesville and the surrounding area. In the days and weeks leading up to this event, my Administration engaged in extensive planning and preparation to ensure that the rally in Charlottesville could be held in a safe and lawful environment. These preparations included the deployment of a large number of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard for support."

“It is now clear that public safety cannot be safeguarded without additional powers, and that the mostly out-of-state protesters have come to Virginia to endanger our citizens and property. I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours. The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety."

“My entire team will continue to monitor this situation throughout the day, and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William Howell:

"The rhetoric and actions of racists, white supremacists, and Nazi-ideologues in Charlottesville last night and today are disgusting and vile. We are heartbroken that innocent life was taken in what appears to be a violent act of terrorism. This is not what Virginia believes in or stands for and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We are grateful for the bravery and professionalism of local law enforcement, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia National Guard. They are heroic public servants."

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Democratic Candidate for Governor:

Saturday evening, Northam tweeted the following statements:

"Our Commonwealth is stronger than white supremacy--we've proved it before and we can do it again. Sending love and prayers to Charlottesville."

@TerryMcAuliffe and @MikeSigner are right--there's no place in our commonwealth for hate and white supremacy. It's on all of us to prove it."

Republican Candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie:

"Cathy and I were heartbroken to learn of the devastating loss of two members of the Virginia state police in the line of duty. Law enforcement officers place their lives in danger every day to keep us safe, and for that we are eternally grateful. Today we mourn for the fallen, and pray for the their families. And we pray for healing in the Commonwealth we love."