Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man has admitted to taking a historic marker memorializing the site of slave auctions in a Virginia city.

News outlets report 74-year-old Richard Allan was arrested by Charlottesville police Tuesday.

He told multiple news outlets he removed the plaque that had been built into a sidewalk because he believed it was insulting to enslaved Africans and their descendants.

A city spokesman says leaders plan to replace the plaque with a more appropriate marker. Police say Allan is charged with two felonies.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - plaque marking the site of slave auctions in a Virginia city has been reported missing and vandalism was found nearby.

News outlets report the marker in Court Square in Charlottesville was missing Thursday.

It had been built into a sidewalk. Police say it appears someone used dirt from below the marker to write “1619” on a nearby light pole.

The number signifies the year Africans were first brought to Virginia as slaves. Police say it's unclear whether the plaque was stolen or taken for protection.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is declaring a state of emergency over threats from militia groups ahead of a gun-rights rally next week.

Northam's emergency order will ban weapons of all kinds, including firearms, from the Capitol grounds starting Friday because of potential violence during a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday.

Northam says some of the rhetoric used by groups planning to attend the rally is similar to what was said in the lead-up to a deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An organizer of a white nationalist rally in Virginia that erupted in violence in 2017 has been sent to jail for failing to comply with court orders in a federal lawsuit against him and other rally participants, according to the nonprofit backing the suit.

The group called Integrity First for America said a federal judge ordered Elliott Kline to jail Monday afternoon after finding that he remained out of compliance and in contempt of court.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say that two people have been arrested after a Confederate monument was vandalized in the city of Charlottesville.

A Charlottesville police spokesman says the arrests were made early Thursday morning at the statue of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Authorities did not release the individuals' names but said more information will be released.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Charlottesville Police Department is taking a Dodge Challenger out of service because of its similarity to the car used in a fatal attack during a 2017 white supremacist rally.

The city announced the decision in a news release Thursday. City Manager Tarron Richardson said the vehicle was “clearly a reminder” of the attack, which killed Heather Heyer and left dozens more injured.

He says the city believes removing it from the fleet is in the best interests of the community.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An Ohio man plans to appeal his convictions for deliberately driving his car into a crowd of counterprotestors during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The Daily Progress, citing online court records, reports that a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. filed a notice of appeal Monday.

In December 2018, Fields was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and multiple charges for injuries caused to others in the car attack.

He was sentenced to life in prison, plus 419 years.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A commission assigned to research racist laws from Virginia's past recommended Thursday that dozens of them be repealed, including measures that resisted desegregation, prevented black voters from casting ballots and prohibited interracial marriage.

While most of the measures are outdated and “have no legal effect,” they are still enshrined in law, the nine-member commission of attorneys, judges, scholars and community leaders wrote in an interim report.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, that became a rallying point for white nationalists has been vandalized again, this time with graffiti saying, "Impeach Trump."

News outlets report that the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was also spray-painted Thursday night with "This is Racist."

Tarps were put over the graffiti and city officials expect a clean-up effort to start Monday. The statue was vandalized earlier this year with an expletive directed at President Donald Trump.

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(AP) A lawsuit that could go trial next year citing online chats to argue that the white-nationalist violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the summer of 2017 was part of a far-right conspiracy.

A counterprotester was run down and killed at the rally by a neo-Nazi.

The lawsuit was brought mostly by other counterdemonstrators. It was filed against more than two dozen individuals and entities and seeks unspecified damages.

The plaintiffs are trying to tie online hate speech in the weeks before the rally to the real-world violence that broke out.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrats won control of Virginia government for the first time in decades on Election Day, and that means Confederate statues could soon be coming down in a state that's full of them.

The long-running debate over whether such displays are appropriate in public spaces intensified after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville grew violent two years ago, and many communities around the country quickly started taking monuments down.

But in Virginia, local governments have been hamstrung by a 1904 state law that protects war veterans' memorials.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Police have removed an unauthorized camera and apparent tripwire device from the vicinity of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlottesville police spokesman Tyler Hawn said Monday that neither the camera nor the "self-made" device belonged to police. He says officers removed them soon after citizens reported their presence.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to free members of a white supremacist group on bond while they appeal their convictions and prison sentences for attacking protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

U.S. District Judge Norman Moon on Tuesday ruled that Rise Above Movement members Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen haven't adequately shown that releasing them wouldn't pose a danger to others.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has blocked the city of Charlottesville's effort to remove Confederate statues.

The Daily Progress reports the three-day civil trial that ended Friday included a judge's ruling preventing the removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

The planned removal of the Lee statue prompted a white nationalist rally in 2017 in which counter protester Heather Heyer was killed.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The lead organizer of a 2017 white nationalist rally that ended in violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has filed another lawsuit claiming his First Amendment rights were violated.

The Daily Progress reports the federal lawsuit was filed Monday by Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler. He voluntarily dismissed an earlier suit that made similar claims.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Charlottesville residents are marking the second anniversary of a deadly white nationalist rally with a series of peaceful community events.

About 20 people gathered Monday afternoon for a moment of silence at the site where an avowed white nationalist plowed a car into a crowd of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more. Flowers and signs decorated a memorial to Heyer.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - As former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe travels the country promoting his new book about a deadly white nationalist rally, others involved in the mayhem nearly two years ago are pushing back at his characterization of the events.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A recent court ruling in Norfolk makes one of the remaining defense arguments for Charlottesville City Council's vote to remove two Confederate statues look more uncertain.

The Daily Progress reports most of the major issues have been ruled on, but a defense argument that the statues violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment remains.

A Norfolk judge recently dismissed a similar lawsuit by activists who wanted to move a Confederate monument.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, that became a rallying point for white nationalists has been vandalized with an expletive against President Donald Trump.

TV station WVIR reported graffiti was discovered on the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Wednesday. A photo showed a profanity directed at Trump on the statue's base.

A Charlottesville police spokesman said the city's Parks and Recreation department would clean it up.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give a life sentence to a man convicted of hate crimes for plowing his car into a crowd demonstrating against a white nationalist rally two years ago in Virginia.

But lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. will argue the 22-year-old man deserves some leniency because he had a traumatic childhood and a history of mental illness.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Friday in Charlottesville.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A man convicted in a deadly car attack on a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is asking a federal court for mercy and a punishment shorter than a life sentence.

Attorneys for James Alex Fields Jr. said in a sentencing memo Friday that he does not deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison because of his young age, traumatic childhood and mental illness.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Officials in Charlottesville, Virginia, have voted to divest the city's operating budget investments from any entity involved in the production of fossil fuels or weapons.

WVIR-TV reports the City Council voted 4-1 last week to complete those divestments within the next 30 days.

Supporters of divestment argued that weapons and fossil fuels do not align with the city's strategic plan goals, including being responsible stewards of natural resources.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has ordered state police to release a redacted copy of their operational plans for the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

The Daily Progress reports Judge Richard Moore on Wednesday gave police 30 days to comply with his order. The order is the most recent development in a 2017 lawsuit by reporters Natalie Jacobsen and Jackson Landers for access to the plans for the "Unite the Right" rally. The rally left three people dead.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has ruled that Charlottesville's Confederate statues are war monuments protected by state law.

Judge Richard Moore's ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville City Council members who voted in 2017 to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Moore cited how statues of Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson depict the men in military uniforms and on horses associated with them during the Civil War. Virginia law makes it illegal for local municipalities to remove war monuments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A member of a white supremacist group has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to riot at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

Thomas Walter Gillen is one of four California men prosecutors identified as members of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group that trains in fighting techniques.

Gillen entered his guilty plea on Monday. Another member, Cole Evan White, pleaded guilty to the same charge in November.

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(AP) A man convicted on state murder charges in a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia has pleaded guilty to federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 29 federal charges stemming from the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A man convicted in a deadly car attack on a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is expected to change his plea to federal hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, was convicted in state court in December in the death of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and for injuring dozens more.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors say two men indicted on federal riot charges in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville are not protected by the First Amendment.

The Daily Progress reports that U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen made the argument in response to a motion to dismiss the indictment from lawyers for Benjamin Drake Daley and Michael Paul Miselis.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state government is holding a public hearing on a plan to enact permanent rules for rallies at a massive statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

The Department of General Services announced Wednesday the hearing is set for March 6 at the Virginia War Memorial Carillion.

The state is seeking to replace emergency regulations with permanent rules that cut the maximum crowd size from 5,000 to 500 and ban weapons at permitted events.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Florida man charged for his role in the beating of a black man during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has entered an Alford plea.

The Daily Progress reports 50-year-old Tyler Watkins Davis acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of malicious wounding without admitting guilt Friday. Davis was one of four charged in the Aug. 12, 2017, beating of DeAndre Harris.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony said video shows Davis striking Harris in the head with a tire thumper, which resembles a club.

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