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Press Release

United States Attorney Kavanaugh Reflects on Five-Year Anniversary of August 12 Terrorist Attack in Charlottesville

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

Charlottesville, Va. – United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh released the following statement marking five years since the Unite the Right riots that occurred on August 11-12th, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia: 

“Five years ago, the city of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia were engulfed by a group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Across the nation, people watched in shock as hate-filled violence erupted in the streets of our city.  At the end of the day, Heather Heyer, a Charlottesville resident, was killed and at least 30 more peaceful protestors were significantly injured as the result of a senseless mass casualty vehicle attack.  Virginia State Police Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M. Bates tragically lost their lives while conducting aerial surveillance that later proved critical in the Justice Department’s investigation.  Scores of other individuals were injured, physically and psychologically, and many still feel the effects today.

The United States Department of Justice joins the Charlottesville community in remembering and honoring those who suffered from the events of that weekend.  This five-year anniversary serves as a stark reminder that we still have much work to do in the areas of combatting hate crimes and domestic terrorism, both of which remain top priorities of the Justice Department.  My Office will continue to hold accountable anyone who engages in violence motivated by racism, bigotry, or other forms of hatred.”

Updated August 12, 2022