Twenty year old James Alex Fields was the driver of the Challenger involved in the crash that killed Heather Heyer and injured others. He has been denied bail and charged with second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.
The media has interviewed his former teachers and class mates and ascertained that James held many Alt-Right and Nazi views and sympathies.
The various media reports were essentially “a car driven by a Nazi has killed one and injured others, before fleeing the scene”.
Now I’m not contending that the facts don’t support the above media report. The evidence is that James Fields does hold those views and he certainly was the driver of the Challenger when it rammed two vehicles into a crowd of protestors. The problem is that the implicit assumptions being made by the media or by the rest of society to fill in blanks around the facts are at best negligent, and at worst corruptly malicious.
Firstly, it seems many commentators are saying that the crash was the intention of James and even premeditated, based on a quote from Charlottesville police chief Al Thomas “The premeditated violence that our community experienced today was completely unacceptable”.
Now, it’s my view that the Police chief was talking more generally about violence at the Unite the Right rally, because it seems unlikely that the Police had established already that James had planned to carry out the car crash. Further, even if they had established this it seems unlikely that they would say this publicly, and potentially influence the future jurors before James’ trial.
The idea that James planned this only makes sense if the evidence is that James is a literal idiot. If he sought to kill people opposed to the Alt-right and he planned to do so before attending the rally, why did he decide to do so via a method that was inefficient and left him easily exposed to retaliation? Why did he not use a firearm or a bomb? Either James is literally so stupid that he was unable to realise that a gun or bomb would’ve allowed him to kill more people more efficiently with less risk to himself, or he didn’t pre-plan the attack prior to the event.
Therefore, assuming James isn’t a literal idiot, he did not premeditate the crash before the event.
Did he intend the crash though? Was he so infuriated by what he saw on the day of the Rally that he decided that the counter-protestors needed to be killed with whatever means were available to him at that time? That’s possible I suppose, it’s even more compelling if the media are constantly shoving stories in your face saying that he was a Nazi or that he threatened his mum with knife when he was 13 or 14. Of course, it’s equally possible that he was just a deeply troubled kid given that he grew up without a father due to a drunk driver.
Let’s go to the video footage though and assess the facts:
So in the first video, at the very beginning, literally the first few seconds while the car and James are still a fair way from the crowd and cars that are eventually to be struck, there is an impact sound and what sounds like tyres spinning. James and his Challenger continue further down the street before a man on the street attacks the backside of the Challenger as it passes him with some sort of club or bat, then the crash occurs.
The second video shows the challenger ramming another car, it’s this second car that pushes a third car that actually impacts the crowd. It doesn’t appear that there is anyone between the challenger and the rammed car.
So what do these facts mean?
If you believe that James intended to crash to kill the protestors, you are also implying that he was too stupid or stricken with rage to think of of mounting the curb to avoid the slow moving car in front of him, despite the fact that doing so would’ve meant hitting a large mass of people and therefore more fatalities and causalities.
My view is that James did not intend to crash his car and kill counter-protestors at all that day.
Rather, I believe that the impact and tyre spinning that occurs at the beginning of the first video is the aftermath of something striking James’ Challlenger and him rapidly accelerating briefly, hence the tyre spin. Whether it was the sound of the something striking the Challenger heard by James in the cab that panicked him into accelerating, or he was actively seeking escape, is unclear. Then further down the street and crucially before the crash, James’ Challenger is hit on the backside by the man with club/bat (0.03 in the first video).
Interestingly, this man who attacks the car does so on very little notice, that is, James’ car has only been in his view for a very short time before he decides to attack it on the way past, barely a couple of seconds. My view is that this man has seen that James car was attacked further up the street and decided to do so as well, or that he has looked into the front window of the Challenger and seen that James is wearing a white polo or has a haircut like all the Alt-Right rally participants do, and has decided to attack the car.
In either case, James has now been attacked twice (if you accept that the first sound was an attack) or that he has been attacked at least once (which we know for an absolute fact) and is now hemmed in on the street. He also knows that he has been attacked on the basis that people outside the car have identified him as being an Alt-Right rally participant, and in front of him down the street is an entire crowd of people anti the Alt-right who have weapons.
The above image is a meme that is circulating, it shows the moment of the attack caught on video at 0.03. We can see from the position of the street signs in each photo, that James was braking before his car was struck.
This to me is further proof that James was not intending to crash into anyone: Why would you brake if you were intending to maximise damage to your victims?
My view is that after the bat/club attack, James panicked and accelerated rapidly. Given that no one appeared to be caught between the Challenger and the slow/stationary car, it stands to reason that there was actually no one in front of James when he began his acceleration, once again affirming that James was seeking to escape, not kill.
The above videos show the crash occurring from the street and from drone coverage above. We can see that the vehicles that actually hit the crowd are the two vehicles pushed by James’ Challenger.
These two vehicles would’ve both been in low gears edging slowly through the crowd, whilst counter protestors walked around and infront of them, hence why the impact of James’ Challenger pushed them both so far so rapidly. The cars weren’t parked or braking, and due to being in first gear wouldn’t have resisted the forward movement of the impact of James’ Challenger at all.
Given that a Dodge Challenger is a notoriously powerful car and that it’s possible (and in my opinion very likely) that in James’ panic he pushed the pedal to the floor for a few brief seconds after the bat attack, it’s not surprising that the impact had the effect it did.
So what does this mean? it means that James isn’t a murderer and is not guilty of malicious harming, due to lack of intent. Further, if James can prove that he personally had a reasonable fear of being stuck in his car whilst being attacked, his attempts to escape, no matter how extreme in the aftermath, are not criminally chargeable. They are criminally chargeable though if it can be proved that it was unreasonable for him to attempt the method he chose, which may result in him being guilty of manslaughter and reckless negligence causing harm. But given he had already been attacked in his own vehicle on the street, and is likely to have witnessed violence earlier in the day at the Rally, it stands to reason he had a reasonable fear of being murdered or harmed given the numbers of potential enemies and their armaments. Once again, look at the below video after the crash, many of the people who rush in to attack his car had weapons so this was not an unrealistic fear.
Further James’ charge of fleeing the scene would be thrown out immediately, as James can easily prove that he didn’t hang around, for fear of being pulled out of his car and lynched by an angry mob who were unlikely to listen to any explanation he might offer.
Needless to say “Nazi’s panicked attempts to escape attacks cause the death of one and multiple injuries” is certainly not a headline that the media wants to run with, as they don’t want anyone to question whether James’ actions could be justified.
All of this evidence and reasoning that I have laid out here will come into the public discourse during the trial and will be used to establish reasonable doubt, and James will be released or at least not found guilty of having intent, only of negligence.
Assuming of course James can still get a fair trial in today’s America.
At that point, the Left will have a moment of extreme mental anguish, when their narrative of James being an “evil Nazi killer” dissolves to be replaced by “a panicked man fleeing a car accident after being assaulted”. In this moment, lies the greatest risk; instead of reflecting on why their bias and assumptions led them to a deeply incorrect conclusion not supported by facts, they will say that the system is rigged and that this was not justice.
Given that they already believe a literal Nazi (Trump) is in the Whitehouse, and their rhetoric for over 50 years is that the system is perpetuated and maintained by evil whites who are in power, they will instead step up their revolutionary and violent efforts.
This incident and its fallout is but another another nail in the coffin of America’s modern political discourse, and I fear that we are rapidly approaching the point of no return.