Brooklyn DA candidate orders investigation into former KKK leader after Charlottesville violence
Brooklyn District Attorney candidate Patricia Gatling called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate former KKK leader David Duke after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left a 32-year-old woman and two police officers dead.
“Justice demands an investigation,” Gatling said in a statement. “Justice for the police and justice for this young woman.”
White nationalists marched into Emancipation Park in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, but the rally quickly escalated. Counter protesters met the nationalist groups and taunting turned into an all-out brawl.
Heather Heyer was rammed by a car and died in the height of the clash and two state troopers died when their helicopter crashed near the site of the rally.
Although the rally was not organized by Duke, KKK members were included in the ranks and Duke said the rally was a “turning point,” for the United States.
“We are determined to take our country back,” Duke reportedly said from the rally.
Gatling blamed the deaths on Duke and his group for instigating the violence.
“David Duke and his fellow white supremacists are domestic terrorists and want to destroy our country and the racial progress made to date and the achievements of all progressive citizens of good faith,” Gatling said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of Heyer’s death, according to a Justice Department statement.
Gatling said a civil rights investigation is not sufficient and requested a formal inquiry by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Gatling is a former New York City Human Rights Commissioner and is currently an attorney at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf.
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