Charlottesville violence: A timeline of events

(MGN Online)

The past few days have been a whirlwind of news alerts, graphic footage and trending hashtags about the violence that boiled up over the weekend.

Here's what you need to know about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia -- and around the country -- since the start of the controversy.


Jason Kessler, organizer of the "Unite the Right" rally, files a federal lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville, Virginia after they move his white nationalist demonstration from Emancipation Park to McIntire Park.


A federal judge rules in favor of Kessler; the Saturday event is to be held in Emancipation Park.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declares via Twitter that the Virginia State Police, National Guard and others will be "on the scene in a support capacity."

That evening, a group of white nationalists carrying torches marched through the University of Virginia's campus in Charlottesville, Virginia.


The next morning, the rallying white nationalists and a group of counter-protesters arrive at the park long before the event's scheduled start time.

Violence breaks out shortly before noon; law enforcement declares the gathering an "unlawful assembly," while the state's governor announces a "state of emergency."

Around 1 p.m. ET, President Donald Trump takes to Twitter to offer a generic condemnation of the conflict that is unfolding.

Less than a half an hour later, a Dodge Challenger rams into a group of counter-protesters, killing one 32-year-old woman and injuring at least 19 others.

Shortly after 3 p.m., Trump speaks from his vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey; condemning the violence, he says blame for the events lay on "many sides."

The sweeping statement earned him criticism from some parties and placed pressure on fellow Republicans to more vehemently condemn the racist viewpoints behind the rally.

Less than two hours later, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed near Charlottesville, killing the two state troopers riding inside. Officials immediately link the incident to the violence resulting from the rally.

Details later released by the National Transportation Safety Board reveal the purpose of the flight was to provide a video feed of activities on the ground; disaster struck shortly after the chopper left "mission-related activities" in downtown Charlottesville just before 5 p.m.

Speaking at a 6 p.m. press conference, Gov. McAuliffe vehemently condemns the white supremacists allied with "United the Right" and commands them unequivocally: "Go home."

The man suspected to be behind the wheel in the car-ramming is identified as James Alexander Fields, Jr. Law enforcement announces three others have been arrested as well.

Court documents later released revealed their names to be Jacob Smith, arrested for assault and battery after punching a reporter in the face; Troy Dunigan, arrested for disorderly conduct after throwing things into the crowd; and James O'Brien, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.


The day after, rallies and vigils are held across the country in honor of the three dead and dozens more injured.

In Seattle and elsewhere, some demonstrations turn violent, with protesters clashing with police. In Charlottesville, one man hit by Fields asks: "Who is accountable for Heather's life?"

"Unite the Right" leader Kessler attempts to hold a press conference in Charlottesville. It doesn't go well; a man is arrested for "spitting" in his face.

More details come out about Fields, the suspect in the car-ramming. His classmates and teachers say he has always been obsessed with Nazism.


James Alex Fields, Jr., makes his first court appearance. No bail is set for the suspect.

Trump makes a stronger statement against the violence, this time from the White House. "Racism is evil," the president said.

The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the car-ramming, Trump said.


This story is developing and will be updated.

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