Charlottesville Protests: Donald Trump Condemns Racist Violence
President Donald Trump has spoken out against racist violence after the killing of a protester in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12.
He told reporters: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs.”
President Trump said the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists were “repugnant” to everything Americans held dear.
He was criticized for not specifically denouncing extremists in his initial comments on the violence.
Heather Heyer, 32, died and 19 others were injured when a car rammed into people protesting against a far-right march.
On August 14, James Alex Fields, 20, was formally charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit and run. He was also denied bail during his appearance in court via video from jail.
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James Alex Fields is said to have harbored Nazi sympathies.
The justice department is opening a civil rights investigation into the incident.
On August 14, President Trump arrived back at the White House from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, to issue a comprehensive condemnation.
The president said: “We condemn this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.
“It has no place in America.
“Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”
Donald Trump paid tribute to Heather Heyer as well as two police officers killed in a helicopter crash after helping to tackle the unrest.
Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, thanked the president for his “words of comfort and for denouncing those who promote violence and hatred”.
Susan Bro told NBC News in a statement she also sent her condolences for the families of the two state troopers who were injured.
However, some felt President Trump’s comments came too late.
Civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton criticized President Trump for waiting 48 hours before issuing a full condemnation.
“We had the head of state of Germany speak before we had the president of this country,” Rev Al Sharpton told MSNBC.
“His silence spoke volumes to people. It was too little, too late.”