Cruz calls for Justice Department investigation into Charlottesville violence

Cruz calls for Justice Department investigation into Charlottesville violence
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville Curtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Kimmel: Let’s make Trump a king so he has no power MORE (R-Texas) called on the Department of Justice to investigate a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent and left one dead and dozens injured.

"The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, ant-semitism, and hatred that they propagate," Cruz said in a statement. 

"Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism," he continued. 

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White nationalist, white supremacist and alt-right groups were initially scheduled to gather in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park Saturday to protest the city's decision to remove a Confederate statue there. 

But as clashes broke out ahead of the so-called "Unite the Right" rally Saturday morning, police declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, breaking up the event before it officially began.

A vehicle plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters in the afternoon after the police broke up the violent clashes.

One person died in the car incident, and two Virginia State Police Department officers also died during the protests in a helicopter crash.

The helicopter crash happened a few miles outside of Charlottesville and it was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

Virginia State Police said Saturday that the helicopter crashed in a wooded area near a home around 5 p.m. The crash is being investigated and it is unclear if it was tied to nearby protests.

The incident came after McAuliffe had declared a state of emergency for the city after clashes between white nationalist and Nazi groups and counter-protesters.

President Trump condemned the violence, but he said "many sides" were responsible for the unrest. 
 
Trump also did not call white supremacists by their name in his condemnation of the events.