Thu, Oct 04, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Four charged for inciting Charlottesville violence


US authorities on Tuesday charged four members of a white supremacist movement with inciting violence over the deadly “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August last year.

The event culminated in a man driving a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 other people.

US President Donald Trump infamously took 48 hours to respond, only to blame “both sides,” despite evidence that neo-Nazis were the principal source of violence.

Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis, Thomas Gillen and Cole White were arrested after being identified in pictures and video footage attacking counterprotesters during the march, which resulted in serious injuries, the indictment said.

All four were members of the California-based Rise Above Movement, which prosecutors described as a militant white supremacist and anti-Semitic group.

The four “traveled to Charlottesville to encourage, promote, incite, participate in and commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot,” a criminal complaint filed at the US District Court of the Western District of Virginia said.

The complaint said they had already attended political rallies in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, California, last year where they attacked other protesters.

Their own “extensive” social media presence documented their violent actions in the California protests and at the Aug. 11 to Aug. 12 Unite The Right protest in Charlottesville, District Attorney Thomas Cullen said.

Each was charged with multiple counts of inciting to riot, which Cullen said could see them facing a maximum 10 years in prison.

Cullen said the investigation was aided by information in a joint investigation by the ProPublica investigative journalism group and PBS television’s Frontline show.

The protests saw hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathizers, some carrying firearms, yelling white nationalist slogans while wielding flaming torches. On the second day, fighting broke out between neo-Nazi supporters and anti-fascists from a group called Antifa.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 others were injured when 20-year-old James Fields allegedly drove into a crowd of protesters.

Fields has been charged with murder and hate crimes.

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