By Steve Neavling
The FBI and Justice Department have opened a civil rights investigation into a deadly car crash caused by a white nationalist who plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va.
“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” said Attorney General Jeff Session, who has involved the DOJ’s civil rights division, Politico reports.
The violence broke out late Saturday morning after hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates converged on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate general. They cashed with counter-protesters.
Shortly after the governor declared a state of emergency, a car driven by a 20-year-old Ohio resident who idolized Hitler drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) August 12, 2017
James Fields, of the Toledo area, was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and hit-and-run.
The FBI has interviewed Fields’ mother, according to the Toledo Blade.
“When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated,” Sessions said. “I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia. The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day. U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail.”