‘We must learn from this,’ McAuliffe says in wake of Charlottesville violence

Photo: @TerryMcAuliffe/Twitter

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement Monday, detailing the next steps he and his administration will take following a weekend of violence in Charlottesville.

A car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally Saturday, killing Heather Heyer, 32, as she crossed the street. Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing two troopers.

Violence rocks Charlottesville during white nationalist rally

On Monday, the governor convened an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss what needs to be done in the wake of the deadly, race-fueled clashes. to begin healing the community and “confronting the racism that stubbornly remains in our nation.

“The events of this weekend have only strengthened our resolve to combat hatred and bigotry, and I want Virginia to be a leader in the national conversation about how we move forward,” McAuliffe’s statement reads. “I have directed my team to impanel a commission with representatives from community organizations, faith leaders, and law enforcement to make actionable recommendations for executive and legislative solutions to advance our mission of reconciliation, unity, and public safety.”

Governor McAuliffe said that Virginians must learn from this ordeal to prevent it from happening again — here or elsewhere. The governor says he directed his team to conduct an extensive review of how the Commonwealth issues rally permits, how law enforcement prepare and respond and how coordination happens at the local, state and federal level.

“In addition, the federal government must focus on the threat of domestic terrorism especially when it comes from beyond state lines,” McAuliffe said. “Finally, I commend our Virginia State Police and National Guard personnel, who worked in support of the City of Charlottesville, for their tireless work this weekend under very challenging and volatile circumstances. Without their extensive preparations and measured actions, we would be facing a far more grave situation today.”