On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that federal hate crime charges were filed against 21-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., who’s accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. The car attack during the so-called “Unite the Right” rally killed 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer and injured dozens more.
The Justice Department indicted Fields on 30 counts, including two charges related to the death of Heyer, and several more hate crimes stemming from alleged attempts to kill or injure others in the crowd that day.
In a statement too rich to be believed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Wednesday that the Department of Justice remains “resolute that hateful ideologies will not have the last word and that their adherents will not get away with violent crimes against those they target.”
In the hours after the attack in Charlottesville, Donald Trump of course famously, wrongly condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Vanita Gupta, the president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights told the Times, “This very important and robust indictment by career prosecutors in the civil rights division of the Justice Department stands in stark and painful contrast with a president who has refused to this day to unequivocally denounce the white supremacists, some of whom marched in his name.”
Just last week, Jason Kessler, an organizer behind last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville got another permit application approved by the National Park Service for an August event that, wouldn’t you know it, he described as a “white civil rights rally.” The rally is schedule to take place August 11 and 12 at Lafayette Park in Washington, exactly a year after last year’s atrocious, violent display.