LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia judge has been suspended for commenting online that opponents of Confederate monuments are "snowflakes" and "nut cases."
Gwinnett County Magistrate Court Judge Jim Hinkle was suspended Tuesday. The court's chief judge, Kristina Hammer Blum, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the suspension was effective immediately "while I consider the appropriate final action."
Violence during a Charlottesville, Virginia, rally by white nationalists last weekend has stoked calls to remove Confederate statues in other parts of the South.
Hinkle wrote about the controversy on his Facebook page Saturday, saying: "It looks like all of the snowflakes have no concept of history. ... Get over it and move on." A follow-up post Tuesday complained of "the nut cases tearing down monuments."
Hinkle told the newspaper he didn't "see anything controversial" about his posts.
Charlottesville descended into violence Saturday after neo-Nazis, skinheads, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists gathered to "take America back" and oppose plans to remove a Confederate statue in the Virginia college town, and hundreds of other people came to protest the rally. The groups clashed in street brawls, with hundreds of people throwing punches, hurling water bottles and beating each other with sticks and shields.
Eventually, a car rammed into a peaceful crowd of anti-white-nationalist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. A Virginia State Police helicopter deployed in a large-scale response to the violence then crashed into the woods outside of town. Both troopers on board died.
Tuesday evening, President Trump insisted "there is blame on both sides" for the deadly violence, appearing to once again equate the actions of white supremacist groups and those protesting them.
The president's comments effectively wiped away the more conventional statement he delivered at the White House one day earlier when he branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs." Trump's advisers had hoped those remarks might quell a crush of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
"There are two sides to a story," he said. He added that some facts about the violence still aren't known.
His remarks were welcomed by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who tweeted: "Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth."