Charlottesville Group Protests Subpoenas from Federal Grand Juries
Some people who say they have been subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury about what happened to them on August 12 are concerned that testimony could lead to charges against them.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Some people in Charlottesville who say they have been subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury about what happened to them on August 12 are concerned that testimony could potentially lead to charges against them.
A group of people - including some who were hurt in the area of 4th Street - protested outside the federal court house in Charlottesville Wednesday, December 13.
Protesters are calling this a "witch hunt" and say the true intentions are unknown due to the secretive nature of grand juries. They claim the U.S. attorney told them the grand jury is focused on car attack suspect, James Alex Fields Jr.
“So the federal grand jury is not about putting James Fields in jail. There's a state case to put him in jail, I've signed off all my medical record on that. This is a witch hunt for activists,” said Star Peterson.
Fields is accused of ramming a car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Charges against Fields include second-degree murder, two counts of felonious assault, as well as multiple counts of malicious wounding and aggravated malicious wounding.
The protesters claim at least one subpoena has been rescinded, because of the activist refusing to speak.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said it cannot comment, and refers to its statement from August 13, announcing the civil rights investigation into that car attack.
Fields is currently scheduled to appear in court Thursday, December 14.
Joint Statement from United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Civil Rights Division:
Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle has released the following statement in conjunction with the FBI and DOJ’s Civil Rights Division:
“The Richmond FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident that occurred earlier Saturday morning. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”