DHS warned authorities of potential violence ahead of Charlottesville rally: report

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a warning to Virginia law enforcement officials several days ahead of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that turned violent, Politico reported Tuesday. 

The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis sent the report to authorities on Aug. 9, according to Politico, urging them to prepare for the possibility of large-scale violence as white nationalists and neo-Nazis planned a protest against the removal of a Confederate statue from a public park.

The DHS report cited two previous clashes in Charlottesville involving far-right groups and anti-fascist protesters, and warned that the Aug. 12 rally could prove to be "among the most violent to date," Politico reported.

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Violent clashes broke out on the day of the rally between the white supremacists and counterprotesters, leading to one fatality and more than a dozen injuries.

The revelation that local law enforcement had prior warning of the potential for violence at the event could put extra pressure on Virginia officials, who were forced to defend the police response after a barrage of criticism

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who said that his office had prepared for the rally for weeks, realized during the event that "additional powers" were needed to ensure people's safety. City and police officials also cited the large crowd sizes in being unable to adequately deal with the riots.