The man accused of fatally plowing his car into a group of counter-protesters in Virginia on Saturday was photographed hours earlier carrying a shield bearing the emblem of a white-supremacist group.
The photo shows Nazi-loving suspect James Alex Fields, 20, standing in a group of six other men — with all of them wearing Vanguard America’s uniform of khakis and white polo shirts. A historic bronze equestrian statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee is in the background.
But the group, which co-organized the Saturday rally that pledged to “take America back,” vehemently denied any association with Fields.
“The driver of the vehicle that hit counter-protesters today was, in no way, a member of Vanguard America,” the organization tweeted Saturday night. “All our members had been safely evacuated by the time of the incident. The shields seen do not denote membership, nor does the white shirt. The shields were freely handed out to anyone in attendance. All our members are safe and accounted for, with no arrests or charges.”
Meanwhile, a post on the group’s Web site, The Daily Stormer, warned that “there will be more events” even larger than the Charlottesville rally.
“We are going to start doing this nonstop,” the post said. “We are going to go bigger than Charlottesville. We are going to go huge. We are going to take over the country.”
Fields allegedly plowed his silver Dodge Challenger through the masses gathered at Emancipation Park in opposition to the rally Saturday afternoon. He was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury, police said.
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