MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Saturday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement that the Richmond FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia had commenced a civil rights probe into the deadly car incident during the Charlottesville protests.
"The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated … U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail," Sessions said in a statement, as quoted by NBC News later that day.
JUST IN: Jeff Sessions announces a federal terrorism investigation into the Charlottesville car terrorist, who could face the death penalty. pic.twitter.com/JIIet3oWW5— Newt-Trump Fan Club (@NewtTrump) 13 августа 2017 г.
Charlottesville saw a major rally of far-right nationalists, dubbed Unite the Right, which subsequently led to violent clashes between the demonstrators and counterprotesters.
In response to the clashes, Governor of the US state of Virginia Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville. At least three people died as a result of the tragic events, McAuliffe said.
The victims include a 32-year-old woman, who died after the driver plowed into a crowd, and two Virginia state police officers, who lost their lives in a helicopter crash outside Charlottesville while they were monitoring the protests from above.