Billie Mays, from United We Stand, said several groups got together Saturday night to figure out what they could do to show support for the city of Charlottesville.
“There’s a national call today and last night to get out and take a stand. We’re not going to tolerate this kind of hate in our country and city,” Mays said.
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson said she hopes Sunday’s vigil sends a positive message to Charlottesville.
“We moved through some very challenging times in our community. We have a long way to go, but I think this shows that we’re ever committed to showing that we’re a community together,” Simpson said. “If that sends a great message to the people in Charlottesville, to tell them we’re not fighting in vain against these horrible demonstrations of hating, but we stand united as a country in favor of love against hate.”
Mayor John Cranley tweeted Saturday that the events in Charlottesville "can only be described as tragic."
Police identified the driver as 20-year-old James Fields Jr., an Ohio man who'd recently moved from Northern Kentucky. He is charged with second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.
The death toll rose later, when a helicopter carrying two Virginia state troopers crashed. Both people aboard, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Berke M.M. Bates, one day shy of his 41st birthday, were killed. Police said the helicopter had been deployed to the violent protests in the city, which has been caught in the middle of the nation’s culture wars since it decided earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, enshrined in bronze on horseback in the city's Emancipation Park.