Man Charged with Hate Crimes for Attack in Charlottesville

This week, a federal grand jury charged James Alex Fields Jr. with thirty separate counts relating to his alleged perpetration of the August 12th, 2017 attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. According to the indictment, Fields entered his vehicle following his participation in a gathering of white nationalists called the “Unite the Right Rally” and subsequently observed the gathering of “a racially and ethnically diverse crowd of individuals.”

Noting that “many of the individuals in the crowd were chanting and carrying signs promoting equality and protesting against racial and other forms of discrimination,” Fields “slowly reversed his vehicle to the top of the hill near the intersection of Fourth and Market streets…rapidly accelerated, ran through a stop sign and across a raised pedestrian mall, and drove directly into the crowd, striking numerous individuals, killing Heather Heyer, and injuring many others.” Fields’ vehicle stopped upon striking “another vehicle near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets,” after which he “rapidly reversed his vehicle and fled the scene.”

Fields has been charged with:

  • one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of Heather Heyer (18 U.S.C. § 249);
  • 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill (18 U.S.C. § 249); and
  • one count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity (18 U.S.C. § 245(b)(2)), resulting in the death of Heather Heyer, for driving his car into a crowd of protestors on a downtown street in Charlottesville, Virginia.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Lee, who oversees the FBI office in Charlottesville, said, “The events of Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville are a grim reminder of why the FBI prioritizes its investigations of civil rights violations among the top of its criminal programs. I hope today will also be a reminder to those who are motivated by hate and intent on committing violence; we are going to be there, just as we were in this case.”

Posted in The Takedown

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