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West Virginia leaders come out against Charlottesville violence


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — Gov. Jim Justice and the state’s United States Senate delegation condemned the violence in Charlottesville, Va. that occurred over the weekend.

“The tragic events that took place in Charlottesville are deplorable and totally unacceptable” Justice said in a statement released Sunday, Aug. 13. “There is no place for hatred and bigotry in our society. Three people lost their lives and many others were injured, and that’s heartbreaking. We will not tolerate violence like that here.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also released statements about the incidents that left three people dead.

“Gayle and I extend our deepest sympathies to those who lost their lives this weekend in Charlottesville,” Manchin said. Heather Heyer died standing up against the forces of evil and hatred, and Troopers (Berke M.M.) Bates and (H. Jay) Cullen died serving the highest ideals of their community, state, and country. I condemn in the strongest possible way the hatred and bigotry carried out by white supremacists this weekend.

“This hateful ideology has always contradicted the very foundation our country was built on,”. I denounce white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, their ideologies and their allies. West Virginia was founded in the fight against slavery, and I know my neighbors join me in denouncing cowardly acts meant to divide our country with bigotry and hatred.”

Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 other people injured on Saturday, Aug. 12, when a man attending a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the rally. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident.

Bates and Cullen were flying to the scene of the rally on Saturday afternoon when their helicopter crashed, killing both men.

“The hate and violence expressed by Neo-Nazis and other white nationalists groups in Charlottesville this weekend has absolutely no place in America,” Capito said in a statement. “This tragedy was domestic terrorism and should be treated as such. It is incumbent upon all of us to reject this type of racism and bigotry.”

In Charleston, dozens of people attended a vigil at the state capitol complex in Charleston to show support for those opposing the white nationalists in Charlottesville, and to call for the removal of a statue of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson from the state capitol grounds. Jackson was born in Clarksburg.

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