Charlottesville police chief has 'regrets' after three lives lost during violent weekend

- Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said a hotline is being established to allow people to report any assaults, incidents and other additional crimes that may have taken place during Saturday’s violent clashes between white supremacists and counter protesters.

The police chief said their department received about 250 calls for service on Saturday and are working with state and other local authorities to investigate any criminal or civil rights violations.

Thomas said the people attending the “Unite the Right” rally failed to follow the plans that were agreed upon with police and put in place on how to enter Emancipation Park. Instead, attendees entered a different locations at the park.

Shortly before 11 a.m., the violence began to break out between the “alt-right” group and counter protesters as objects were thrown and chemical agents were sprayed within the large crowd, Thomas said.

Chief Thomas also expressed his regret over the deaths that took place this weekend. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed after police say a car driven by the suspect, James Alex Fields Jr., crashed into a crowd of counter-protesters. Fields was denied bail by a judge Monday morning.

Two Virginia State Police officers were also killed after their helicopter crashed just outside of Charlottesville.

“I certainly have regrets,” the chief said. “We lost three lives this weekend – a local citizen and two fellow officers. We certainly have regrets. It was a tragic, tragic weekend.”

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