The city of Charlottesville, Va., on Tuesday night chose the first African-American woman to serve as its mayor, less than six months after a deadly white nationalist rally in the city made national headlines.
The Charlottesville City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve Nikuyah Walker (I) as mayor, largely a ceremonial title in the college town. Before becoming mayor, Walker was the first independent to serve on the City Council since 1948, according to The Daily Progress.
Walker, who has criticized the city’s response to the August rally, will now preside over City Council meetings alongside newly elected Vice Mayor Heather Hill (D).
Outgoing Mayor Mike Signer, who condemned the violent rallies that left one dead and dozens injured, will remain on the City Council, according to The Associated Press.
President Trump took criticism from both parties following his response to the “Unite the Right” rally, which left one counterprotester dead. Trump said there was blame on “both sides” after a woman was run down by car driven into the crowds.
A former federal prosecutor’s investigative report faulted both the local police department and the Virginia State Police for their handling of the Aug. 11 and 12 protests.