Aug 13, 2017

Driver who plowed car into protesters identified, charged

People fly into the air as car drives into counter-demonstrators protesting the white nationalist rally. Photo by Ryan Kelly of The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress, via AP

James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old man, was identified as the driver who plowed his car into protesters yesterday during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, per NYT. He was charged with second-degree murder.

  • He was in the military. "Military records show that Mr. Fields entered the Army on Aug. 18, 2015 ... Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military."
  • He lived with his mother until recently.
  • Potential ties to Vanguard America, "a group whose manifesto declares that 'a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality.' The organization denied any ties to him."
  • A middle school classmate "suggested that his interest in far-right ideologies dated back years. 'On many occasions there were times he would scream obscenities, whether it be about Hitler or racial slurs.'"

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In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

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