Hundreds attend vigil at Cincinnati City Hall for Charlottesville car attack victims

Posted at 10:15 AM, Aug 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 06:35:26-04

CINCINNATI -- Several groups held a vigil Sunday evening for those killed and wounded at a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Hundreds of people attended the Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil, scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday at Cincinnati City Hall.

The Democratic Socialists of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, Together We Will and United We Stand organized the event.

One woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a driver rammed a sports car into people protesting against the rally. A GoFund Me account for the woman killed, Heather Heyer, has raised tens of thousands of dollars.

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Police identified the driver as 20-year-old James Fields Jr., an Ohio man who'd recently moved from Northern Kentucky. He is scheduled for an arraignment hearing at 10 a.m. Monday on charges of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death.

One of his high school teachers said Fields had radicalized views on race and was "very infatuated" with Adolf Hitler and Nazis.


"He felt that whites were superior," Derek Weimer said. "He felt that the views that Adolf Hitler espoused were correct in some way."

H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, said Saturday's violence "meets the definition of terrorism." Federal officials also have opened a civil rights investigation.

The death toll rose later, when a helicopter carrying two Virginia state troopers crashed. Both people aboard, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Berke M.M. Bates, one day shy of his 41st birthday, were killed. Police said the helicopter had been deployed to the violent protests in the city, which has been caught in the middle of the nation’s culture wars since it decided earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, enshrined in bronze on horseback in the city's Emancipation Park.

Four-hundred miles away, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, hinted that the white supremacists might get the opposite of what they’d hoped for. Mayor Jim Gray announced on Twitter that he would work to remove the Confederate monument at his county’s courthouse.

"Today’s events in Virginia remind us that we must bring our country together by condemning violence, white supremacists and Nazi hate groups," he wrote. "We cannot let them define our future."