USA: Four racists arrested over last year's violence in Charlottesville
Reuters reports that yesterday the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States arrested four radical adherents of white supremacy who participated in last year's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Those arrested are members of an antisemitic, racist movement and were among the most violent participants in last year's clash with those opposed to racism that directly resulted in the death of one person and dozens of injuries.
The four suspects, according to the FBI, headed from California to the East Coast last year for the Charlottesville rally and had previously been involved in more than one "street battle" during political assemblies in their home state. Members of the movement, according to detectives, regularly practiced combat techniques and disseminated their hateful ideology.
The men face several charges and if convicted could be sentenced to as long as 10 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Thomas Cullen. In August 2017 they were among the several hundred adherents of white supremacy who protested against the planned removal of a statue to Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the university town of Charlottesville.
When a group of those opposed to racism blocked the white supremacists' path, the racists began to assault them, with one neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields Jr., driving a car into the crowd. Fields killed anti-racist protester Heather Heyer and harmed dozens of other people with the vehicle.
The U.S. Justice Department charged Fields (age 21, of Maumee, Ohio) with 30 crimes, including one count of a hate crime resulting in the death of Heyer and 28 hate crimes involving his attempt to kill the other people injured, and he also faces charges from the state of Virginia, including first-degree murder. The white supremacist rally sparked national condemnation of racism and US President Donald Trump was criticized for attributing blame for the violence to "both sides".
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