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White nationalists, neo-Nazis sue Charlottesville for 'violating constitutional rights'

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2017 file photo, White nationalist demonstrators walk through town after their rally was declared illegal near Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. A former federal prosecutor says the law enforcement response to a white nationalist rally this summer in Charlottesville that erupted in violence was a series of failures. The findings of former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy's monthslong investigation were unveiled Friday, Dec. 1. City officials asked him to conduct the review after facing scathing criticism over the Aug. 12 rally. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Organizers of last year's deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, are suing the city and police officials over what they say were violations of their constitutional rights.

The Daily Progress reports the Unite the Right rally organizers filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday saying authorities prevented them from exercising their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The plaintiffs are Jason Kessler, white nationalist group Identity Evropa and neo-Nazi groups National Socialist Movement and Traditionalist Worker's Party. The lawsuit says by issuing orders not to engage crowds, authorities allowed a "heckler's veto," in effect suppressing speech by the possibility of violent reactions.

Violent clashes erupted at the rally, and a counterprotester was killed when a car rammed a crowd.

Kessler filed a similar lawsuit in March that was voluntarily dismissed in August.

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