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3 dead, dozens injured after violence at white nationalist rally protest in Va.

State Police in riot gear guard Lee Park after a white nationalist demonstration was declared illegal and the park was cleared in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at the white nationalist rally. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park Saturday, which drew hundreds of protesters, authorities say.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after declaring the state of emergency:

“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," Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. " 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.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said that one person, a 32-year-old woman, has died and 19 people were injured at the site of a car crash during the violence Saturday.

Police have not released the cause of the crash, however the driver of the vehicle, later identified as James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio, is now in police custody.

The UVA Health System says out of those injured, five patients are in critical condition, four are in serious condition, six are in fair condition and four are in good condition.

Fields has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and once count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury, according to officials at the Albermarle County Regional Jail.

The FBI, Richmond Division, has opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident, according to a statement released late Saturday.

ABC News also reports that 15 more people were injured during Saturday's protests.

Two Virginia State Police officers died in a helicopter crash outside of the Charlottesville city limits on their way to assist with efforts during today's rally.

According to the Virginia State Police, three more people were arrested in relation to today's rally: Troy Dunigan, 21, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Va., and James M. O'Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Florida.

Dunigan has been charged with disordlery conduct, Smith was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and O'Brien is facign charges for carrying a concealed handgun.

Earlier, President Donald Trump sent his condolences to the state police officers who died in the crash via his Twitter page.

He also sent his condolences to the family of the 32-year-old woman who was killed and his "best regards" to the others injured.

Following the rally, an unlawful assembly was declared and police began making arrests during Saturday afternoon, authorities say. The Virginia National Guard was also brought in to help police clear the area.

The white nationalists branded their gathering as the "Unite the Right" rally. The rally comes after a federal judge granted a temporary injunction allowing the gathering to be held.

A local emergency was declared in Charlottesville earlier in the day.

Charlottesville Police have released the following statement:

"Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones and Interim County Executive Doug Walker have simultaneously issued a Declaration of Local Emergency for the two jurisdictions. This joint declaration allows local officials to request additional resources if needed to respond to ongoing events in the community which are currently localized in downtown Charlottesville. Scheduled activities outside the downtown area are not impacted by ongoing events or by this declaration at this time. Local officials continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide additional details as they are available."

President Donald Trump condemned the violence in Charlottesville hours before he addressed the incident during a press conference in New Jersey on Satursday afternoon saying:,"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."

Watch Trump during Saturday's presser on ABC7's Facebook Live below:

First Lady Melania Trump tweeted out this response to the events in Charlottesville, asking for people to communicate without hate in their hearts.

Former President Bill Clinton reiterated the first lady's point, writing that "even as we protect free speech," Americans must "condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy."

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also posted to social media, calling the views of the nationalist marchers"repugnant" and "vile."

He added he hoped that the violence would "serve to unite Americans" against bigotry.

Hillary Clinton said in a tweet that her "heart was in Charlottesville" and with all those feeling unsafe.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner released the following statement:

David Duke, the former KKK leader, was at the rally earlier in the day, saying they were going to "fulfill the promises of Donald Trump."

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Charlottesville officials and local representatives held a press conference telling white nationalists to "go home."

The University of Virginia Medical Center was preparing to possibly treat patients on a "natural disaster" scale because of the event.

Police say others in the crowd were using pepper spray. CNN, the Associated Press and the Washington Post reported multiple fights breaking out.

White nationalist and Alt-Right Movement leader Richard Spencer claims that he and others were maced during the day. He was later arrested.

According to the ACLU of Virginia, some of those protesting the rally were pepper sprayed.

“As the former mayor of this beautiful, inclusive and progressive community, I am saddened that our city may draw thousands who would come here to sow division and hate,” House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano said in a statement. “The alt-right agenda has been brought to Charlottesville by people who are neither from our community nor who represent its values. We will strive to ensure the day does not erupt into violence, and we will redouble our efforts to remain civically engaged so that darkness does not obscure our light.”

The organizers say they're demonstrating against moving a statue of confederate general Robert e. Lee from a city park.

This comes just a day after so-called "alt-right" activists marched with torches on the University of Virginia campus.

“The House Democratic Caucus stands in strong support of the City of Charlottesville and of every person who has been marginalized by discrimination and hate - whether through the coded dog whistles of politicians or by overt violence that we pray we won’t see today,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring in another statement. “We thank our law enforcement officers and first responders for putting their lives on the line, today and every day, to keep our communities safe.”

Police said they were expecting thousands of both protesters and counter-protesters.


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