Sessions: Charlottesville death is ‘domestic terrorism’

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CBS News

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the death of a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute.”

Sessions said the Justice Department is pursuing the case “in every way.”

He added: “You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought, because this is an unequivocally unacceptable and evil attack that cannot be accepted in America.”

Sessions also says he is meeting with President Donald Trump and officials from the FBI on Monday to discuss the recent violence in Charlottesville.

James Alex Fields Junior, the man accused of running his car into the crowd in Charlottesville, appeared in court was denied bond when he appeared via videolink before Judge Robert Downer on Monday.

The 20-year-old was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that led to death.

He was appointed a court attorney and scheduled to appear back in court on August 25, CNN reported.

Fields, seen just before the incident wearing the unofficial uniform of a white supremacist group, was attending the “unite the right rally” — a White Nationalist protest against plans to remove a Confederate statue from a public park.

“A mother had to bury her child.”

In Charlottesville, Marcus Martin, the focus of the picture that captured the moment of the attack, described how he took the hit to potentially save his fiancée’s life.

“I hear tires screech, then I look up and I see people getting thrown in the air and the only thing I could do is push my fiancée out of the way.”

Two Virginia State Police troopers —pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40 — also died Saturday when their police helicopter crashed and burned in Charlottesville.

Their helicopter was “assisting public safety resources with the ongoing situation in Charlottesville,” according to a police statement.

Vigils, rallies and marches were held across the country Sunday in support of the victims and against hate from Florida to Chicago, Michigan to Seattle, and even right here in the Mid-South.

On Saturday, hundreds of Memphians gathered to make it clear that such acts shouldn’t be tolerated before taking to the streets. They marched down Union Avenue, then back to the Health Sciences Park in the Medical District.

In Nashville, a group gathered at Bicentennial Mall State Park where they lit candles and said prayers for the victims. Four people were arrested during the event, but were later released, WTVF reported.

Several hours later, Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has been in Memphis since Friday, held a news conference Sunday, calling on President Donald Trump to publicly name and condemn the groups involved in the protest.

“His silence on them gives them confidence that they have the right to do what they’re doing. It’s not good for America.”

The alt-right organizer of Saturday’s rally said he plans to hold a press conference in Washington Monday.