Skip to main content

SPLC: Sentencing of James Alex Fields Jr., who killed Heather Heyer at ‘Unite the Right,’ will not heal victims or their families

James Alex Fields Jr., who was sentenced to life in prison today for murdering a woman who was protesting a white supremacist rally two years ago, is a remorseless killer and a domestic terrorist.

When Fields slammed his Dodge Challenger into a group of counterprotesters following 2017’s “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — murdering Heather Heyer and injuring at least 30 others — he helped define one of the many flashpoints of violent white supremacy in the Trump era.

This was no random act. Fields’ history is littered with texts, social media posts and first-person accounts of his long-standing hatred of Jews, African Americans and essentially all non-white people. His appreciation for Nazi ideology goes back to middle school, with his own family reporting threats of violence to local law enforcement as early as 2010.

Though Fields’ sentencing may prevent him from committing future acts of public violence, the trauma he has already inflicted upon his victims, their families and their communities will likely never fully heal.

Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP Images