Charlottesville officials take next steps against white nationalist rallies

(Photo: File)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- The City of Charlottesville is looking to take legal action against white nationalist groups after Saturday night's rally.

They announced plans on their website to create an internal task force between city departments.

They say it is designed to create strategies in dealing with white nationalist rallies.

According to the city, the task force will guide actions through the city manager's office.

In addition to the task force, the city is working to develop ways to prevent incidents where someone may be harmed.

UVA Law professor Richard Schragger shared that there are a few options for the city based on Virginia law.

According to Schragger, there are laws that ban the lighting of torches or using fire as intimidation.

He says a city could create the banning of an open flame and that there are time, place, and manner restrictions that can be used.

Schragger said this law could limit any group to when they can protest in public spaces.

"They haven't been used a lot but I think there is some room to test them out. They might be tested out in court," Schragger said.

He also added that there are older anti-militia laws that regulate the gathering of armed groups in the community.

The city will have an independent review of recent white supremacist rallies and will create a community group to address issues raised at city council.

In addition, they plan to work with the city attorney's office to develop new rules to allow the city authority in controlling the conditions under which a group or organization can hold a rally.