In 2017, protesters and counter-demonstrators clashed over the removal of a Confederate statue. A debate has been raging across the United States for years over whether or not to tear down Confederate memorials. Some argue taking down the statues is erasing an important part of history, whereas others believe the statues glorify the Confederacy and the racism that accompanied it. The protests in Charlottesville, Virginia were among the most violent disturbances over Confederate memorials. During that violence, James Fields Jr. rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person, Heather Heyer, and injuring 35. Fields is an avowed neo-Nazi with openly anti-Semitic and racist views. He was sentenced over the summer, almost two years after the attack, to a life sentence plus 419 years, effectively ensuring Fields will be imprisoned for the rest of his life. Fields pled guilty to all 29 charges, including first-degree murder.
By Amira Pierotti