Trial for Neo-Nazi Accused of Killing Woman at Charlottesville 'Unite the Right'

cduggles

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The man allegedly responsible for driving a car into a crowd at a white supremacist rally in 2017 is set to appear for trial Monday.

The "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, [Virginia] turned to chaos in August 2017 after brawling, racist chants and smoke bombs which erupted in the streets. The mayhem went up another notch after a car sped through a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring dozens more.




The suspected driver was identified as 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. who was remembered in high school for his fascination with Nazism and idolizing Adolf Hitler. His attorneys declined AP News' request for comment, and have not provided any hints into how the defense will take shape.

Though the trial is a step forward in providing justice, the wounds remain raw in Charlottesville and may do little in bridging the racial divide.

?Hopefully, this will signal a chance for healing, although I am not entirely optimistic about that because the entire culture in which we live is so steeped these days in white supremacy and white nationalism that violence is becoming less an exception to the practice of American democracy and more like a brutal showing of it,? Lisa Woolfork, a University of Virginia professor who was in a crowd of counter-protesters, told AP News.

The rally was one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists in a decade, with members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists in attendance ? all in protest of the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The day of the rally, President Trump came under fire after telling reporters that there should be "blame on both sides."

?You had some very bad people in that group," Trump said. "But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.?

However, on the anniversary of the deadly rally, Trump took a much more neutral stance, wanting peace for "ALL Americans."

"The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division," Trump tweeted in August. "I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!"

Along with a murder charge, Fields also faces a separate trial for federal hate crimes.

Pretrial didn't conclude a motive; however, after being detained, Fields showed intense signs of remorse after learning a woman was killed, according to a Charlottesville police detective testimony.

Fields also later told the judge that he suffers from bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and ADHD.
 
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invegauser

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miss duggles has a nose for finding press articles that have errors.


there's a city called Charlotte in North Carolina. it's about 4.5 hours from Charlottesville in Virginia.

cleaveland is a city in missouri but it's also a city in ohio. city names and what states they are in frequently get confused because so many of the names of cities on the east coast are used to name cities as you head west.

if you watch the Simpsons you will understand this as there are about 30+ cities in the USA named springfield and no one was ever sure which one they lived in. (i heard the creator finally settled on one in oregon. strange.)
 
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invegauser

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i do not like how slow this case has started but the proceedings are still young.

trump sounds almost too pathetic to make fun of. the professor on quote sounds like she's exaggerating and the pre-trial went no where.

i hope that girl and her family get the justice they deserve and that driver gets justice served hard and cold.
 
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cduggles

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Jury selection has begun. (Ask for [correct] source!! :sus:)

Thanks for indicating the error. It's inexcusable and I regret it. Bad mod!!

And I admittedly loathe Newsweek. There's no making up for the posting, but frankly I just wanted a blurb about this horrific incident and the subsequent trial. I was also a bit torn about images...

I was debating putting up a photo of the actual car driving into the crowd with a warning and an NSFW tag.
What do y'all think?

Thanks again for the gentle response. I'm admittedly pleased people read this stuff. Sometimes I wonder! :)
 

invegauser

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what i meant miss duggles is newspaper editors should hire you. there would never be a piece with an error.

you would figure with some sort of schooling, the marvelous tools at ones disposal with the net and computers that one wouldn't find so many errors in professional and legitimate news reporting services. (i have seen it happen a lot lately)

newsweek always seemed on the border of a journalist profession and a super market tabloid to me, very iffy. wonder if they will fully commit cause "enquiring minds want to know". (<--- american tabloid slogan)
 

What 23

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Just prior to his gunning it down this alley, he had been waved on with a rifle by an antifascist professor, who boasted about this. Cars had been being hit that day by anti-fascists, and/or counter-protestors, with different things. There is video of this. The number of people who were there to protest the right far outnumbered those on the right. Fields was perhaps intimidated.

When he turned down the alley, he is driving at a "high rate of speed", considering that there are people on the road (but not actually really even speeding, considering the speed-limit). However, he doesn't fully "gun"/charge it until his car was hit, which may in his state have reminded him of a gun, or some other object/projectile attacking. Then, in videos, you can see him increasing speed (off the handle).

Being surrounded, and trapped, and I wonder how this sounded? Escape!



I doubt he had the intention of killing anybody, actually, and throwing away his life, when he went to this, and drove around, and found himself in this alley. I do think he was a hot-head/loose-cannon, and didn't know how to keep himself out of trouble, or keep from causing trouble. I do think he made wrong decisions, and acted with disregard here, but I don't think he was exactly thinking clearly, either, or had as wide as an angle as we do now. I don't think he had the intention to murder. I think he even may have been scared. I've considered that the sound that was made when his car was attacked may have set him off. I consider that he had just seen the guy who "waved him on with his rifle".

I would personally advise someone to stay way from this kind of event. Especially don't drive around trying to evil-eye and act like a badass. If you go, find a parking space far away, and try to remain peaceful, and calm. Try to start a dialog, based on truth/reason, to establish understanding as much as possible. This seemed to be a case of posturing/language that went entirely bad. I don't think he intended to do this, again (it wasn't his "plan").

The speed that he began to travel down this way was not with intent to actually run anyone over. It was to intimidate, and to disperse the herd, or mob - to get them out of the way. He was angry. He was intimidated/scared. He didn't belong in a car, there.

I'm not saying he didn't do wrong. I'm not saying he shouldn't do time, and perhaps (definitely) have behavioral-cognitive therapy. I'm just saying there is still a very real human element to what happened. And he was likely on-edge/afraid (to say again). It can be explained, and the behavior of those counterprotestors, who sometimes think "punching 'Nazis'" is perfectly fine (and anyone to the right of Karl Marx is a Nazi, well), doesn't help. It instigates it. There is blame on both sides, as Trump stated. There are people wrong on both sides, and there is also some truth, and reason to why each side exists. People don't respect reality. There was a lot more going on. Need better understanding.
 
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What 23

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A reminder that calling this guy a Nazi is essentially the same as calling him a hick, or dumb stupid backwards person (the same as it was back then- They did not call themselves Nazis, except to try to own the term to take it away from those that used it to attack them by way of this insult- Nazi is inherently an insult). I'm not sure that's the best way forward, but whatever. Go punch some Nazis.
 

aihfl

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A reminder that calling this guy a Nazi is essentially the same as calling him a hick, or dumb stupid backwards person (the same as it was back then- They did not call themselves Nazis, except to try to own the term to take it away from those that used it to attack them by way of this insult- Nazi is inherently an insult). I'm not sure that's the best way forward, but whatever. Go punch some Nazis.
No, it's not the same as "calling hm a hick or dumb stupid backwards person." Read coverage from credible print news resources, not opinionated blather from some far-right YouTube channel. Several of his teachers remarked on his unhealthy obsession with Adolf Hitler. Sounds to me like the kid would have been proud to be called a Nazi.

If he wasn't trying to intentionally injure people, then how do you explain that after he struck people moving forward, he then reversed into another pocket of counter-protesters? Again, read a newspaper.

You're probably right that he didn't mean to kill someone, as he reportedly broke down in tears after he had been told at the scene he killed someone and has expressed remorse multiple times. And he has documented mental illness. But by what gymnastics of logic does "I didn't mean to do it," make the crime any less egregious?
 

invegauser

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i'm a hick and i'm callin him a dumb**s (and worse) for killing someone.

i will verify later whether or not he is a nazi. (interesting piece @What 23, really gets you thinking). will crosscheck @aihfl's piece as well. (more news of the weird please aihfl?)
 
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What 23

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I don't know if he would be proud to be called a Nazi. I don't understand why, considering how the word was originally used against "the Nazis". He might be, though- I don't know.

I just think it's important to know that he wasn't doing this to commit murder. It wasn't his plan--It wasn't "premeditated", which does make the crime much worse (if it was). I think the backing up into the space of the others, after, this is still in a fight-or-flight response (possibly also rage, panic--but that is fight-or-flight, I don't know). I am definitely not trying to say I want this guy in the population, or around me. I think he needs help (this is not meant to paint him the victim, although, if we're willing to say terrorists do things because they lack options...these people--the right are fearing a certain lack of options, and lesser power, lesser-ability to know what to expect, to plan, to know, to belong, brought about by becoming a minority).

With my post, I was hoping (however my writing is with trouble sometimes) to bring light to certain context, such as the guy that boasted about intimidating him with a rifle, just beforehand. I do think that that should be brought up, and as well, the people hitting cars (whether or not there was actually any threat of harm, people mis-perceive things all the time...they don't know what can happen, the next hit could be a rock through the windshield, or side window). He didn't actually gun it until a guy hit his car with some kind of pole. He could have seen it occurring as it happened, and heard it, and then gunned it. He made the wrong choice. It might have even been an accident. He could have been reacting to someone in an attempt to hit his vehicle, gunning it without thinking. He could be incompetent. I just don't really think he's, at least, just a monster.
 
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cduggles

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Interesting article with pics and video of Neonazi plowing directly into crowd:

How I Became Fake News

I witnessed a terrorist attack in Charlottesville. Then the conspiracy theories began.

By BRENNAN GILMORE
August 21, 2017

...

On Saturday morning, I witnessed James Fields smash his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing Heather Heyer and wounding 19 others. Although I immediately shared the footage with police on the scene, it took me a half-hour to decide to post it publicly. I was concerned about how the footage might be used by the "alt-right" and felt uncomfortable knowing that I had probably filmed someone?s death. I did not want the attention posting the video was likely to bring. I consulted with friends and family, some of whom were also at the counterprotest and some of whom were watching the coverage from outside Charlottesville. They all urged me to share the video, and when I heard from friends that some media outlets were suggesting that it might have been an accident or that the driver might have been attempting to escape an angry mob, I knew I had to post it. The video I took?and the scene I witnessed with my own two eyes?clearly showed the attack was intentional. Fields drove down two empty blocks and plowed straight into the crowd before fleeing in reverse.

So I tweeted it out...

(Article continues at link. Content at link is graphic.)

 

invegauser

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thank you miss duggles, lends credence to one side of the story. that vid also tells something of the truth on it's own. funny how the camera doesn't lie as much as the human brain does. :)

that is a major dilemma for most people and always has been, more so today. do i say something or don't i? especially when so much is left open to interpretation from those who don't think things through practically. neo-nazis, far right, whatever they wanna be called (PC for the butthurt who are supposed to be one of the tough guys 8() are not the mob but they are pretty intimidating. i've been in a room with several of them at one time, i can understand how it makes a person feel the way they do.

i think at the very least posting the video, even if given as an anonymous source to a news outlet, would be the right thing to do.

@What23: i'm tired but as i said, "just the facts ma'am". so bear with me. (and no, i'm not going to bring up trump, there will be plenty of that covered in the words contained in the links)

Mr. Fields responded affirmatively and listed bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and A.D.H.D., and added that he was taking medication, Mr. McGinn said.
don't get me started on stacking diagnoses and saying someone is mentally ill. i'm not but my condition is easily confused with one. i've seen far too many people have psychotic episodes induced by stress, drugs or something else and be permanently labled mentally ill the rest of their lives. it's called losing one's shit not mental illness. (plus i agree with JessFR on insanity plea. give it up already.)

Mr. Fields then accelerated and slammed his car into the crowd, hitting multiple people, including Ms. Heyer, before reversing and fleeing, the indictment says.
not mental illness related but supporting the video from cduggles link

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/us/charlottesville-plea-hate-crimes.html



i don't trust the twit who tweeted this but i do trust the photo for now.

https://twitter.com/orensegal/status/896572070787768320/photo/1

a lot of background information that does not help his case at all from those who know him in one way or another. [(what aihfl is referring to) well said btw @aihfl]

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/james-alex-fields-charlottesville-driver-.html

this is one from a pretty neutral position on things in general.

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/06/626486232/suspect-in-charlottesville-car-attack-pleads-not-guilty-to-hate-crimes-charges


Speaking on the second day of jury selection, defense lawyer John Hill said: “There will be evidence the defendant took these actions in an attempt to defend himself,” and asked prospective jurors if they believed violence could ever be condoned in self-defense.

He added: “There will be testimony concerning the defendant’s mental health.

“Do any of you have personal experience dealing with mental health issues?”
on a personal note: nothing ticks me off more than lawyers and the mentally ill plea. neither do anyone much good in today's world. (this one is all the way from japan too, wow!)

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/28/world/crime-legal-world/neo-nazi-suspect-deadly-charlottesville-rampage-will-argue-self-defense-mental-health-issues-lawyer/#.XAPGwx9RfRY

this one proves he is affiliated with the ignorant far right in some aspect, neo nazi sympathizer is the title and supports him being this way without much prejudice. ( nice map showing where he lives and how far he had to travel to support them. same pic as twit from above.)

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/11/26/neo-nazi-sympathizer-james-alex-fields-jr-faces-jury-over-deadly-actions-decision-unite

if you need a word to call him or them, here's a list to choose from. personally i prefer slag but i don't know them that well nor do i think they are educated enough to know a british word. =D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unite_the_Right_rally

as per miss duuggles lead, this one is very graphic. very iconic as well. please be in a good mood otherwise keep scrolling down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/charlottesville-timeline/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f4348538f8d8

this in conjunction with the wikipedia one proves the unite the right rally was with permit. (it also proves the crap city and police put up with in defending and honoring the rights of the people of their city.)

https://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/city-says-permit-will-only-be-ok-d-if-rally/article_29f8e566-7baa-11e7-906d-63c9ea503128.html

Before the rally, counterprotesters obtained permits to gather at McGuffey Park and Justice Park, both less than a quarter-mile from Emancipation Park.[SUP][49][/SUP][SUP][109][/SUP][SUP][110][/SUP][SUP][111][/SUP] Charlottesville City Council spokeswoman Miriam I. Dickler later stated that counterprotesters did not need permits to protest the rally at Emancipation Park
this proves (somewhat) the counteprotestors had permits. (from same said wikipedia article)



a map of the events. even though i have not verified every lil detail of it tonight i would be more than happy to tomorrow if that will help with any concerns. it seems accurate for now.

i get where your coming from, very humane of you.

in this case if the guy wasn't driving a car through a mob during a very intense protest then he probably wouldn't have had to deal with being caught in a situation where he was faced with becoming panic and definitely wouldn't have ended up killing someone (regardless if he intended to or not).

it just doesn't make any sense.

not a monster in the sense he wasn't intentionally trying to kill someone? yes.

is he a monster in the sense he sided with hate groups, covered his true intentions of spreading more hate by saying it was a peaceful protest to keep a statue around and did end up killing someone in the process? yes. not sure if monster is the right word here or apt, i prefer to think of it as making a very poor decision and seeing as he made up his mind to do it anyway there is some responsibility on his part to own up to and make amends for. what that punishment may look like is best left up to the legal system less the line between civility and disorder becomes blurred and we descend back into animals.

idk. what do you think What 23?
 
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SheWasLvL18

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So the jury has recommend a life sentence and he hasn't even been tried on his Federal charges, which could possibly carry the death sentence. I think he's pretty fucked lol
 

Burnt Offerings

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i'm a hick and i'm callin him a dumb**s
Same.

This fool texted an image of a vehicle plowing into a group of people before the event in question in which he, well, plowed a vehicle into a group of people (also, a pic of his apparent hero, Hitler, which he sent to his mom)

He also probably has legitimate "mental issues" but seriously, fuck that guy & all proponents of a system of weaponized fear & hate (fascism)
 

What 23

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I replayed the event from what little I could from my limits in perspective; I decided he had many opportunities to make another choice. If the initial action of slamming into people was an accident, what came after, continuing to perform action that can result in hitting more people, still didn't have to happen. I am still very conflicted about this. I think that the situation had escalated, quite, and I struggle because I can see how he may have interpreted things as if he was about to be attacked, or was being attacked, at the time when he initially actually gunned it. But prior to this, he had made numerous mistakes. He was, for a start, "speeding" down that lane, considering there were in-fact living breathing creatures being assholes and taking up the road (they belong on sidewalks unless it's sanctioned by a city/town that they should be in the street, really). He was under little risk of being attacked in a way that would result in actual harm. Cool minds would have been able to discern this. And again, he was not "cool" at all in this situation; James was driving around the block, reportedly giving/exchanging looks (trying to intimidate...) with counter-protestors, including the gun-wielding college professor reported he saw Fields right before the attack, waving him off with is rifle.

I guess I understand that this probably wasn't his plan, but I see he had many opportunities to go on a different path. If he wasn't directly responsible (not saying anyone else was, but is a dog responsible), he proved to be a dangerous actor, that shouldn't be in the general population.

As far as the image he shared of a car crashing into protestors. Well, there are protestors in the road. I'd say that's next-to coincidental. Many people have thought the same thing. I imagine openly sharing the sentiments could play into it though. Yea. There was a sort of confirmation in sharing it, in re-flashing the thought/image, he was making it more okay (in his mind, by mirroring it). But I know that many people have especially since the BLM, sometimes thought about just charging through their blockades. Especially with stories about ambulances being halted, or people just getting where they want to go.

I don't really think he should be in prison for life, actually, +419 years (funny, Timothy McVeigh did his attack on 4/19- I was just thinking about the numbers four one nine - then saw it attached to James Fields). I think there were at least some aspects of the incident (and leading up to it) that would shed some light on his state of mind/attitude, if paid attention to. Not to say - again - that he was a stable actor in society, or didn't or wouldn't require assistance in things if we're right. But we can clearly see people did attack vehicles that day, and his vehicle was "attacked" right as he accelerated into the crowd ahead (keep in mind there were actually cars too, trying to get through the herd). We know the "other side" has felt it justified to use violence, in the form of direct attack, or vandalism.

This (and much about the race/identity-war) isn't balanced. There is much more at work in this case. The problem (or plural problems) that created this still very much exist.

I think the sentence of life + 419 years is in part at least connected to his views. His views were on trial, as well. I have heard this, and I am repeating it. They did have an effect. If this was a black man surrounded by white people in this alleyway, and we saw the exact same scene unfold, with a white man waving him on with his rifle just before and a white skinhead attacking his car right before he accelerated, he would probably have people feeling sorry for him- Having compassion for him, understandably. Doesn't change the fact that idiot shouldn't be driving a car, and probably needs about 20(+?, -?) years of supervision, + therapy.
 
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invegauser

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if a black person (or any other race) was driving a car through a protest i would feel the same way. dumb! (unless for some reason they really didn't know a protest was going on then i would say dumb and i feel for them.)

you don't get into a car and knowingly drive through protestors unless you have less than ideal intentions.

it's not good for the safety of your health either. get stuck and your surrounded by a few hundred of those your trying to do harm to. that's mob mentality and your probably going to be lucky to hobble away if not carried out on a stretcher or in a body bag (if they can find what's left of you).

i get where your coming from but (at bare minimum) the choice was made (rather he revealed his intentions before hand or not) to use a two ton metal box capable of speeds up to and exceeding 100 mph (161kmph) to plow through people.

no consideration of responsibility or for the value of human life was exercised.

not being in prison for life, that's interesting. most of his life seems fair imo.
 

What 23

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^I'm not exactly clear on what all of these cars were doing there, though. I think some just stumbled into town, going about their business. Some were probably old white people too, and might have felt they didn't even choose their side, when their cars were attacked- It got chosen for them; They were evil white old people.

I know these words I just wrote might be taken as assertions of fact, but they aren't; There is some reflection of truth there, but I don't know if this exactly happened. I just saw video from this day of cars being hit, with crashing of glass/plastic being heard as they were, and the attackers were "leftist", multiracial, probably not-too-far from "antifa"-affiliated, or "Black Lives Matter", and people do tend to travel through a city as large as Charlottesville. Many of them were probably white, and perhaps other races as well. Many of them probably had no idea what the hell was happening. Their route just took them through these same areas, and they were stuck the fuck in this mass. Some may have been trying to attend. Not all. It was said that James was trying to find a place to park. He may have been, and probably was, but meanwhile, he was exploring a little bit before, exchanging some glances, and got heated. He should have, and anyone that has the actual intention of going to one of these demonstrations, should park about a mile away, or so, and just walk. I definitely agree with you, that if they are there with awareness of what is going on, that it's best to not be driving, for all people involved. People need to choose their battles, and this 'battle' didn't end well for any side, or individual person. But I'm not sure everyone in cars there actually had awareness of the situation. I doubt every one of those vehicles in the video I saw from that day being hit was a staunch, avowed "White Supremacist".

I don't really think we're arguing, though. And as far as if James was a black guy- A black supremacist, or something, you might feel the same way, but I also don't see you attacking James for being a "hateful bigot" so much as I have heard from others. But considering the way many in society react to this...I could see a greater section of society having compassion for a black guy who was in a car in the middle of a mob of white nationalists, who gunned it and killed someone. He broke down crying after, and had been diagnosed with mental illnesses on numerous occasions. He wouldn't get life + 419 years (today), or at least, it's not hard to imagine he would have a lot more compassion for him. Even if he was trying to get to a Black Nationalist rally. Or maybe it would be more akin to him being like an abused dog- Not necessarily love/affection, but more understanding.
 
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