The following editorial was written by someone in Charlottesville that was injured in the car attack on August 12th, 2017 at the neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally.
I was injured in the car attack on August 12, 2017. James Fields broke two parts of my spine, one rib, and both of my legs when he ran me over. The leg that his left wheels crushed is still held together by metal plates.
A police officer came into the hospital to question me about the attack before I even had a chance to go into emergency surgery. Multiple federal agents showed up in my hospital room when I was barely out of the ICU. This was the beginning of a many months of involvement with the State and federal injustice systems.
I chose to participate in Fields’ state trial as a form of harm reduction. Despite my participation I wholeheartedly maintain that the injustice system is inherently corrupt.
James Fields was assigned two attorneys who gave his case their full attention. Meanwhile people charged with nonviolent crimes get only an overburdened public defender. People who can afford to hire private attorneys receive much less severe punishments than those stuck with public defenders, or with no attorney at all. People of color are punished much more severely at all levels of the injustice system.
During his trial one of Fields’ attorneys, Denise Lindsford, attempted to mislead the jury regarding a key piece of evidence in the case. She tried to make it look like Fields slowed down before he hit us. Thankfully the prosecution explained the evidence to the jury so that they could see that in fact accelerated. Fields’ attorney will experience no consequences for her deliberate deception.
James Fields should be behind bars for the rest of his life. But he is one of the few. Our jails are filled with people who’ve harmed no one. The hyper wealthy profit greatly off of prisoner slave labor.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Fields’ conviction is one of the rare occasions when the injustice system is acting fairly. His sentencing neither exonerates nor vindicates our racist, classist injustice system.