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The Latest: Prohibited items seized in Charlottesville

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Latest on events marking the anniversary of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia (all times are local):

2:30 pm

Authorities in Charlottesville say they confiscated prohibited items such as brass knuckles, hundreds of people have passed through the security checkpoint that leads to the centre of the city environment.

A press release from the city Saturday afternoon, said a few hundred people had their way through the perimeter that was set up to 8 hours

The city says enforcement of the law on the access points are performing voluntary inspections for objects that were banned as a security during the weekend anniversary of last summer’s violence. The press release says persons can refuse the searches, but unsearched bags or packages are not allowed inside.

The city tweeted just before 2:30 p.m. of that two arrests had been made so far Saturday. A 28-year-old North Carolina man was arrested for trespassing and a 64-year-old man from the surrounding Albemarle County, Virginia, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

The city says that each man was released on a misdemeanor summons.

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The police closed streets and mobilized hundreds of officers for the birthday of white racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The security measures alarmed activists, but reassured others that said that they have painful memories of last year’s chaos.

Local and national authorities framed the weekend is the increased security as a necessary precaution.

Late Saturday morning, when many businesses in a popular shopping area started to open, the officials of the law enforcement in the minority of the visitors. Concrete barriers and metal fences had been erected, and the police were searching bags on two checkpoints where people can enter or leave.

Nearby, dozens of officers wearing helmets and gas masks strapped to their belts stood watching in the park, where hundreds of white nationalists gathered last summer during a meeting planned in part to protest the city’s plans for the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The event descended into violence, with clashes erupting between participants and counterprotesters.

A number of community activists were concerned that this year is the heavy presence of the police can be a counterproductive overreaction.

An independent examination of the rally’s violence, led by a former federal prosecutor, found the chaos is the result of a passive response of the enforcement of the law and lack of preparedness and coordination between the state and the police of the city.

Lisa Woolfork, University of Virginia professor and Black Live From Charlottesville organizer, said that the police are mounting a “massive, overwhelming show of force to compensate for the last year of inaction.”

“Last year, I was afraid of the Nazis. This year, I’m afraid of the police,” Woolfork said. “This is not making everyone I know feel safe.”

But some entrepreneurs and the centre of the visitors said Saturday they were comforted by the security measures.

“It’s nice that they are here to protect us,” said Lara Mitchell, 66, a sales associate at Ten Thousand Villages, a shop that sells artwork, jewelry and other items.

Kyle Rodland, 35, took his young sons ice cream downtown at the end of the Saturday morning.

Rodland said he felt much safer than last year, when he left the city with his family and remained with his parents after seeing people armed with long rifles walking around outside his house.

Saturday marked the anniversary of a march by torch-toting white supremacists a day for the larger event in the town. The group parading through the University of Virginia’s campus, shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans.

On Saturday morning, the university organized a “morning of reflection and renewal,” with musical performances, a poetry reading and an address from University President James Ryan.

Ryan recalled how a group of students and members of the community facing off against the white supremacists in the vicinity of a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the campus, calling it a “remarkable moment of courage and bravery.”

Later Saturday evening, students and activists planned a “Rally for Justice” on the campus.

Other events were also planned in the weekend, also on Sunday, the anniversary of the violence that erupted in the streets of Charlottesville.

After the authorities had forced the colliding masses of white supremacists and counterprotesters to distribute, a car plowed into a crowd, killing the 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer.

James Fields, Jr., 21, Maumee, Ohio, is charged in state court with murder in Heyer killing and also faces separate hate crime charges in federal court.

The day the death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that was monitoring the event and assisting with the governor’s motorcade crashed, killing two troopers.

Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of last summer’s rally, called the city of Charlottesville after the refuses him a licence for an event this weekend. However, Kessler dropped his lawsuit last week, promised to forge ahead with plans for a “white civil rights” rally Sunday in Washington, D. C.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam and the city, both declared states of emergency, citing the “potential impact of the events” in Charlottesville during the anniversary weekend. The state is the declaration allocates $2 million in the state treasury and authorizes the Virginia National Guard to help with security.

The city closed downtown streets and public parks, and the limited access to a centre of “security” where the visitor is banned the wearing of masks or carrying of certain objects, such as skateboards, slingshots, glass bottles, bats and knives.

Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 national police will be activated during the weekend.

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For the full AP coverage is marking one year since the rally in Charlottesville, visit https://apnews.com/tag/CharlottesvilleAYearLater

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