More and more details are coming out about James Alex Fields, Jr., the man charged Saturday with second-degree murder and other counts after a car plowed into protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman and injuring dozens more.
Fields, a 20-year-old, grew up in Kentucky and recently moved to Maumee, Ohio.
The New York Daily News reported that a photographer captured Fields at a rally in the morning holding a black shield with a white insignia of two axes with bundles of rods, or fasces.
— Nicole Hensley (@nkhensley) August 13, 2017
The Associated Press also published a photo of Fields with the group.
White supremacist group Vanguard America touted the insignia in a tweet Saturday afternoon, but later claimed the driver was “in no way” a member of the group.
Today we stood against the government, police, Antifa, and the elements themselves. A special thanks goes out to all who fought with us. pic.twitter.com/uAwTyLBbpj
— Vanguard America (@VanguardAm) August 12, 2017
An official statement regarding today's incidents and the individual in question. pic.twitter.com/wBaERomHEZ
— Vanguard America (@VanguardAm) August 13, 2017
BuzzFeed reported that a Facebook page appearing to belong to Fields (no longer available) included “a cover photo of soldiers with an American flag and swastikas, and a baby portrait of Adolf Hitler,” as well as Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that white nationalists and internet trolls appropriated last year.
Derek Weimer, who said he taught Fields history in high school, told the Washington Post on Sunday that Fields wrote a research paper Weimer described as a “big lovefest for the German military and the Waffen-SS.”
“It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler,” Weimer said. “He had white supremacist views.”
Fields’ mother Samantha Bloom told the Associated Press in an interview Saturday night that she was not aware her son was attending a white supremacist rally.
“I just knew he was going to a rally,” she said. “I didn’t know it was white supremacists. I thought it had something to do with Trump.”
Bloom said she tried to “stay out” of Fields’ “political views.”
“I don’t really get too involved,” she said. “I mean, he had an African-American friend.”
This post has been updated.
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism