Charlottesville violence: man charged with murder was pictured at neo-Nazi rally
Sunday - 13/08/2017 15:15
THE man accused of ramming a car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters in the United States was photographed that morning holding a shield with the emblem of a white supremacist group.
Vanguard America denies that James Alex Fields Jr is a member of its group and says it handed out shields to anyone in attendance who wanted them.
The Anti-Defamation League says Vanguard America believes the US is an exclusively white nation, and uses propaganda to recruit young white men online and on college campuses.
Heather Heyer, 32, was fatally injured after being mowed down in Charlottesville, Virginia by a vehicle allegedly driven by Fields.
The FBI has launched a civil rights investigation and local authorities have already charged the man, 20, with second degree murder and three counts of malicious wounding.
Ms Heyer was in a group that had launched a counter-protest to a weekend ‘white power’ demonstration in the city in America’s southeast.
Police allege Fields deliberately drove his car into the crowd in what some politicians have declared an act of “domestic terrorism”.
She was killed and 19 others injured. A fundraising campaign for Ms Heyer has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for her family.
Relatives of Fields meanwhile told The Washington Post that Fields grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, and had been raised by a single mother who was a paraplegic.
“Not really friendly,” an uncle told the paper of Fields. “More subdued.”
His mother, meanwhile, said she believed her son was was attending a rally for US President Donald Trump, not for white nationalists.
Samantha Bloom said: “I just knew he was going to a rally. I mean, I try to stay out of his political views. You know, we don’t, I don’t really get too involved, I moved him out to his own apartment, so I’m watching his cat.”
After being told that the rally was organized by white nationalists Ms Bloom said: “I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist.”