Police warn people to stay out of downtown Charlottesville during anniversary of deadly rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam issued a state of emergency ahead of the one year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville rally.

Multiple events are planned to mark the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally which resulted in the deaths of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and Virginia State Police Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, III and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

This year however, police have not approved any protest permits in the city.

Stay up-to-date with NBC12's coverage of the weekend rallies here

The emergency declaration will enhance the planning and response of potential violence ahead.

"Declaring this state of emergency in advance of the anniversary and the related planned events will help us ensure that the state and the city have all available resources to support emergency responders in case they're needed," said Governor Northam. "Virginia continues to mourn the three Virginians who lost their lives in the course of the demonstrations a year ago. We hope the anniversary of those events passes peacefully."

Police in Charlottesville are also warning people to stay out of downtown throughout the weekend.

Barricades have already been set up around the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson statue. Extra security, including police personnel and cameras are also in place.

Even the US Postal Service is taking precautions for the weekend by temporarily removing service from some mail collection boxes. The impacted boxes will be inaccessible after Friday's final mail collection - noticed have been placed on the boxes. They will reopen Sunday morning.

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