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Driver who ploughed into group of anti-fascist protestors has African-American friend

James Fields
James Fields

The driver whose car ploughed into a group of anti-fascist protestors in Charlottesville is said by his mother to have an African-American friend.

James Fields, aged 20, of Ohio has been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene. A bail hearing will take place on Monday.

Field's mother, Samantha Bloom, said she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but did not know it was a white supremacist event.

"I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump's not a white supremacist," she said.

"He had an African-American friend so ...," she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she would be surprised if her son's views were that far right.

Ms Bloom, who became visibly upset as she learned of the injuries and deaths at the rally, said she and her son had just moved to the Toledo area from the northern Kentucky city of Florence, where Fields grew up.

She said she relocated to Ohio for work.

Police in Virginia have been granted the power to declare a curfew in Charlottesville after clashes during a far-right rally left three people dead and dozens injured.

A woman was killed when a car ploughed into a group of anti-fascist protestors - a 20-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder.

And two State Troopers died when the helicopter they were in, which was monitoring the demo, crashed just outside the city.

US president Donald Trump has blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia, but stressed the "hatred and bigotry" broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.