The Department of Justice filed federal hate crimes against James Alex Fields, 21, the Charlottesville driver who plowed his car into a group of demonstrators gathered to counter-protest white nationalists last August.
Fields injured 19 people and killed one person on August 19, when his Dodge Charger rammed into the crowd.
According to NBC News, the charges include the following:
The August rally was spearheaded by demonstrators in response to the crowd of white nationalists who descended upon the University of Virginia during a “Unite The Right” rally to protest against the removal of a confederate statue.
One of the charges addresses the death of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old protester who was struck and killed by Fields’ vehicle.
“He has to deal with the life consequences and everything he did behind what he did,” said Marcus Martin, Heyer’s friend. Heyer who was at the rally alongside Heyer, also made national headlines after he pushed his wife out of the path of Field’s vehicle.
Prior to the incident Fields was photographed with a shield which held the emblem for Vanguard America — one of the hate groups associated with the rally.
“Last summer’s violence in Charlottesville cut short a promising young life and shocked the nation,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Today’s indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation.”
At the August rally several Black protesters were severely beaten by white nationalists–the moments caught on camera. One of the men, DeAndre Harris, was recently vindicated after he was incredulously charged with assault in defense of his own safety.
Fields was also faces state charges in association with the August incident.
SOURCE: NBC News
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