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James Alex Fields Jr.

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The car in question
A lunatic Chaplin imitator
and his greatest fans

Nazism
Icon nazi.svg
First as tragedy
Then as farce

James Alex Fields Jr. (born 1997) is an American neo-Nazi domestic terrorist.[1] He was charged with second-degree murder in 2017 after the authorities said he drove a car into a crowd, killing 32-year-old Charlottesville, Virginia resident Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others who were protesting a rally staged by various alt-right groups called "Unite the Right" in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.[2]

Early life[edit]

Fields was born in Kenton, Kentucky, to Samantha Lea Bloom.[3] By the time he was attending Randall K. Cooper High School in Union, Kentucky, his extremist views were well-known by his fellow students. He drew swastikas everywhere, according to several of his former classmates, and by his senior year, he was known as "the Nazi of the school".[4]

He had a number of aggressive incidents at his childhood home, resulting in the Boone County Kentucky Sheriff's Office and the Florence Police Department responding nine times from November 2010 to February 2013 to the condominium of his mother, where he lived at the time.[5]

Fields then tried his hand at army life. Military records show Fields entered the Army on August 18, 2015, but his active duty ended just months later on December 11. The Army said Fields was released from active duty in December 2015 due to "a failure to meet training standards."[6]

After this auspicious start in life, one can maybe assume he then found a bunch of fellow /pol/ members with whom he felt he could join in the coming race war.

Unite the Right rally attack[edit]

After being photographed attending the "Unite the Right" rally with members of neo-Nazi hate group Vanguard America earlier in the day, Fields drove his silver Dodge Challenger into a crowd of people who had been protesting the assembly of white nationalists, white supremacists, fascists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen, Identitarians, Neo-Confederates, Anti-Semites, self-proclaimed "Kekistanis", Anticom members and others, according to authorities. Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in the car attack perpetrated by Fields and at least 19 others were also injured.

Upon publication of photos of Fields standing with members of neo-Nazi hate group Vanguard America, the group released a statement on Twitter saying that Fields had no association with the group.[7] Of course, even that tweet was deleted by the group.[8] As a footnote to all of this, in a brief victory for sane Twitter users, Twitter finally seemed to disable Vanguard America's twitter account, only to allow them to set up a brand new account just a few days later.[9]

Police description[edit]

On 13 August 2017, the Charlottesville police reported the incident as follows:

The three-vehicle crash occurred on 4th Street. A Dodge Challenger was traveling south on 4th Street at a high rate of speed when it rear-ended a sedan headed south on 4th Street. The impact of that crash pushed the sedan into the minivan in front of it. The minivan had slowed for a crowd a people crossing through the intersection. The impact of the crash pushed the vehicles into the crowd of pedestrians. The Dodge Challenger fled the scene, but was located and stopped a short time later by Charlottesville Police.[10][11]

Visuals[edit]

The visual evidence that Fields drove his car into the counterprotest is overwhelming, as documented below:

Conspiracy theory: Dwayne Dixon chased James Fields with an AR-15[edit]

Several far-right sources claim that Fields was chased with a semi-automatic rifle before the crash (and was therefore under duress).[13][14][15][16] For example, Gateway Pundit writes:

Dwayne Dixon, a University of North Carolina anthropology professor and leader of the armed Antifa group Redneck Revolt, has admitted to chasing James Alex Fields Jr. with a rifle just before he drove into a group of protesters — killing Heather Heyer.[17]

However, this description is incorrect.

What's true: Dwayne Dixon is a member of the far-left group Redneck Revolt.[18][19] Dixon was in the vicinity of 4th street (he was photographed in Justice Park, on Park Street).[20] In a 7 January Facebook post, Dixon asserted that he "chased off" Fields' car before Fields killed Heather Heyer.

What's false: If we're willing to trust Dixon's 7 January Facebook post, then we should also trust his 3 February speech. Dixon asserted that [1] Fields circled around the Redneck Revolt area several times, [2] Dixon "waved him off" with his AR15, [3] in Fields' final circle (not the same as the one where he was waved off), Fields accelerated into the crowd. In fact, the area where Dixon was stationed (Justice Park) is 4 blocks (about 0.25 miles) away from the crash site. Moreover, as the street footage shows, Fields increased his acceleration towards the intersection even when he could see that his path was blocked -- and then, after the crash, he backed up straight towards Justice Park (where Dixon was allegedly chasing him).

The timeline and evidence is presented below:

Pending trial[edit]

Fields has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count related to leaving the scene of the wreck, according to The Associated Press. Investigators are also investigating whether Fields crossed state lines with the intent to commit violence, according to NPR's Carrie Johnson.[26]

At his first hearing, Fields appeared in court via a video conference from the local jail and did not enter a plea. He was denied bail. After the hearing, white nationalist Matthew Heimbach approached a group of reporters and accused them of being "liars" and insisted Fields was "scared for his life". He painted himself and the other white supremacists as the actual victims, like any white supremacist "leader" would.[27]

On 14 December 2017, Fields was charged with first-degree murder in Virginia[28] and was indicted by a grand jury in Charlottesville on 18 December 2017.[29] Fields' Virginia State trial is scheduled to begin on 26 November 2018 and is expected to last three weeks.[30]

On 27 June 2018, Fields was charged with 29 counts of federal hate crime.[31]

References[edit]

  1. Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says by T. Rees Shapiro et al. (August 13, 2017) The Washington Post.
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/james-alex-fields-charlottesville-driver-.html
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/james-alex-fields-charlottesville-driver-.html
  4. https://news.vice.com/story/charlottesville-attack-james-alex-field-jr
  5. 911 calls, records reveal tumultuous past for accused Charlottesville driver, family. cincinatti.com, 15 August 2017.
  6. http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/08/14/Charlottesville-suspect-James-A-Fields-Jr-revered-Hitler-as-student.html
  7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/vanguard-america-a-white-supremacist-group-denies-charlottesville-attacker-was-a-member/2017/08/15/2ec897c6-810e-11e7-8072-73e1718c524d_story.html
  8. https://t.co/d4Ka00HLtf
  9. https://twitter.com/VanAmOfficial
  10. Was Driver Acting in Self-Defense? [a w], FactCheck.org
  11. CvilleCityHall [a w], Twitter
  12. Google Map at 38.0300848,-78.479232.
  13. James Fields Was Chased With a Semi-Automatic Rifle Before Crash [a w]
  14. Templeton Times [a w]
  15. Antifa Professor Confronted About Chasing Fields Into His Car at Charlottesville [a w]
  16. Antifa Member Admits to Chasing Down Fields with Gun at Charlottesville [a w]
  17. Armed Antifa PROFESSOR Admits to Chasing Charlottesville Driver With Rifle BEFORE DEADLY CRASH! [a w]
  18. Antifa: The hard left's call to arms [a w]
  19. Dwayne Dixon explains why the left is willing to use violence. [a w]
  20. Photo, sourced to this Tweet; the account tweeting this has since been deleted. The photo appears authentic, and is located at approximately 343 Park Street (photo)
  21. Not today ANTIFA, not today [a w], Facebook
  22. Dwayne Dixon confronted by other activists at a rally after Charlottesville [a w], ABC News Australia
  23. Dwayne Dixon admits he waved a rifle at James Fields prior to the accident in Charlottesville [a w]
  24. Dwayne Dixon - You Don't Stand By and Let People Get Hurt: Antifascism after Charlottesville [a w] at about 34 minutes on
  25. Professor who chased Charlottesville driver with gun attacks camera man [a w]
  26. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/13/543176250/charlottesville-attack-james-alex-fields-jr
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZDACuLj6NE
  28. Rankin, Sarah, Suspect in Charlottesville car attack faces new first-degree murder charge, Chicago Tribune, 14 December 2017
  29. Dunn, Ryan, Charlottesville grand jury indicts Toledo man in deadly white nationalist rally, Toledo Blade, 19 December 2017
  30. The Daily Progress staff, Fields set for three-week trial in November, The Daily Progress, 3 January 2018
  31. Federal Hate Crime Charges For Driver At Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally, NPR