Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

[WATCH] Man charged with murder after car rams counter-protesters at US far-right event

20-year-old James Fields of Ohio arrested on Saturday following attack at ‘Unite the Right’ gathering, and two police officers die in helicopter crash

13 August 2017, 9:23am
Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group
Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group
A man has been arrested and charged with murder after a car rammed into a group of people peacefully protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 19.

In a separate incident, two police officers were killed when their helicopter crashed.

Police said the fatal victim of the car ramming was a 32-year-old woman and that they were attempting to notify her family before releasing more details.

Col Martin Kumer, the superintendent of Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, said that 20-year-old James Fields of Ohio had been arrested following the attack.

“He has been charged with second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at an accident that resulted in a death,” Kumer said in an email.

WARNING: Some viewers may find this video disturbing.

The Richmond FBI field office said it was also opening a civil rights investigation of the accident along with the Justice Department’s civil rights division and the district US attorney’s office.

Ohio state vehicle registration records show that a Dodge Challenger car with a licence plate matching the one used in the attack is registered to Fields at his address in Maumee.

A Virginia police helicopter which was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing the pilot and a trooper.

State police said in a statement the helicopter was “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation” when it crashed in a wooded area. The pilot, Lieutenant H Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-pilot Berke Bates of Quinton, Virginia, died at the scene.

The deaths came at the end of a day marked by violent clashes between far-right nationalists and people who had come to protest their occupation of a downtown park containing a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee.

Donald Trump condemned the “violence on many sides”, but faced criticism for failing to directly denounce the far-right demonstrators.

Witnesses said those hit by the car were people peacefully protesting the planned white supremacist rally and footage showed the vehicle crashing into another car, throwing people over the top of it.

The driver was later arrested, authorities said, on suspicion of criminal homicide.

The car attack came about two hours after state police in riot gear had cleared Emancipation Park, the site of the Robert E Lee statue. The city’s decision in February to remove the statue drew earlier protests by the “alt-right” and the Ku Klux Klan.

Statue controversy

In February, the city council narrowly voted to remove and sell the Robert E Lee statue, and to rename the park in which it stands from Lee Park to Emancipation Park. This was the culmination of a campaign to remove the statue started by a local high school student, Zyahna Bryant.

It was part of a wave of such removals of Confederate monuments across the south, which began after Dylann Roof massacred nine African American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

In response, last May, Richard Spencer led a torchlit white nationalist parade around the park. Then, on 8 July, about 50 members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the park, and were greeted by around 1,000 counter-protesters. The day ended in turmoil after police used tear gas on some counter-protesters following the Klan’s departure, and made 23 arrests.