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This undated file photo provided by the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail shows James Alex Fields Jr., accused of plowing a car into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., killing a woman and injuring dozens more, has been charged with federal hate crimes. The Department of Justice announced that Fields was charged in an indicted returned Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Photo: Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail via AP, File)

After a white supremacist rally broke up last summer, a visitor from Ohio allegedly got in his gray Dodge Challenger, and drove onto a narrow and downhill one-way street in Charlottesville, Va. At the bottom, the driver noticed a group of counter-protestors who were chanting against racial discrimination, and for equality. Slowly rolling forward, he came to a stop and observed the crowd for a few moments.

The driver then reversed, backing up to the top of the hill. Then he put the car into drive, slammed down on the gas, sped down the hill and through a stop sign and across a raised pedestrian mall—and straight into the crowd. One woman was killed, and dozens were injured.

James Alex Fields Jr., 21, now stands accused of federal hate crimes for the terrorist attack—in addition to the felonies he faces at the Virginia state level.

The new hate crimes are based on much of the evidence before and during the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, according to the indictment.

A family member sent him a message a text message urging him to be careful at the rally in Virginia. Fields responded with a picture of Adolf Hitler, and the words, “We’re not the ones who need to be careful.”

Fields’ social media accounts showed messages espousing white superiority, support for Hitler and Nazi-era Germany, and advocating violence against blacks, Jews and other groups perceived as “non-white.”

Fields also engaged in white supremacist and anti-Semitic chants the day of the rally—before it was broken up by authorities for “unlawful assembly.”

These motivations led to the death of Heather Heyer, 32, and the injuries of dozens, officials say.

Fields willfully attacked the crowd with the car “because of the actual and perceived race, color, religion, and national origin of individuals,” according to authorities. Twenty-nine victims are listed in the indictment, identified only by their initials. 

The total federal counts include one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of Heyer, 28 counts of hate crime acts causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill, and one additional count of racially motivated violent interference with a federally protected activity, according to authorities.

“Today’s indictment should send a clear message to every would-be criminal in America that we aggressively prosecute violent crimes of hate that threaten the core principles of our nation,” said Jeff Sessions, the U.S. attorney general, in a statement.

The Virginia State Police helicopter monitored the event from the air—and captured the moment of impact. The helicopter also caught Fields allegedly reversing his car, and driving away.

Fields already faces murder and other charges under Virginia law.

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