August 14, 2017 Statement from Congressman Ted Poe regarding Charlottesville:

“What happened in Charlottesville over the weekend wasn’t a display of free speech. It was domestic terrorism.

I am a strong proponent of the First Amendment, but the bigotry and violence that happened in Charlottesville are not free speech. While hateful groups might have the right to freely speak, they do not have the right to incite violence. President George H.W. Bush once said “bigotry and hate still do exist in this country. And hate breeds violence, threatening the security of our entire society.” Unfortunately, that couldn’t be more true today.

It is our duty to stand up against racism and hatred of the white supremacists, Nazi sympathizers, and the KKK. It is our obligation to denounce their hatred for our fellow Americans. And Heather Heyer was doing just that when she was killed Saturday by a Nazi sympathizer who drove his car into a group of counter protestors.

Thankfully, the Department of Justice swiftly launched an investigation into the driver to prosecute this as a hate crime. Justice is what we do in America and is what makes our nation stand apart from others.

We owe our thanks to the police officers and first responders who put their lives on the line, even when it is to protect bad people. And, we also mourn the loss of the two Virginia State Police Officers killed in the helicopter crash on Saturday: Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.”