the rally, The Department of Homeland Security

(n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2017, from   

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(n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2017, from











The Charlottesville
incident marks one of many domestic terrorism that have taken place on American
soil since the heightened international terrorism attacks of 9-11. These acts
of terrorism on American soil continue to cause fear and a heightened sense of
alert amongst the general public, especially since they are becoming more
frequent than not. It is important to learn from mistakes within DHS and
agencies to strengthen law enforcement and agency protocols in an attempt for
an effective reaction towards domestic terrorism incidents. Effective control
measures would better control chaos and eliminate casualties and injuries as
well as stress. 

The agencies initially involved
included state and local police. Police involvement was present, however, the
incident unfolded their lack of preparation to handle these types of incidents.
In earlier days prior to the rally, The Department of Homeland
Security issued a warning to law enforcement authorities indicating “an
escalating series of clashes had making the event “among the most violent to
date” between white supremacists and anarchists” (POLITICO). Local, state and federal authorities were
aware of details in this report. The report provided two other instances where
these opposing groups which confirmed antifi, found themselves in violent
altercations. The fact these two groups were already involved in similar
altercations, should have increased effective security measures. Instead,
police were criticized on the way they handled the incident. Communication was
not carried through. The incident in itself could have been prevented if law
enforcement blocked off intersections when knowing the type of rally that was
to take place. Poor tactics were exercised to separate protesters and counter
protesters. Law enforcement proved their tactics were not efficient in handling
the enraged crowd. The United States Attorney for the Western District of
Virginia, the F.B.I and the Departments of Civil Rights Division, as a civil
rights investigation has further established to seek further details into the
incident. By labeling this incident as an act of terrorism, a more thorough
investigation could be conducted.

One can argue this incident
can also be labeled a hate crime due to the nature of the protests and his
direct actions of driving into the crowd of counter protesters, which appeared
to be have members of the anti-fascism or “antifa” group involved. Prior to the
start of the start of the “Unite the Right March”, members of the black lives
matter, anti-racist action and showing up for racial justice groups were involved
in violent acts against the white nationalists. Altercations became very
violent and as a result the rally was deemed unlawful by authorities and shut
down. Through video coverage, the violence supporting the presence of antifa
members includes their wearing of bandanas and showing up to multiple protests
against everything that promotes inequality, prejudice and oppression. The fact
that the group of people Mr. Field’s Jr drove his car into, happened to be a
mixture of members of black lives matter or even antifa, can very well steer
this incident as a hate crime.

The Charlottesville
incident in my opinion, would be categorized as domestic terrorism, however, it
can borderline be a hate crime. As we look at the events leading to the
incident, the facts that stand are, white nationalist and groups including “KKK’
and neo-Nazis planned to gather on 12 August 2017 for a “Unite the Right March”
in Charlottesville. These protesters gathered to voice their opposition to
local officials about the removing of the confederates top general, Robert E.
Lee from the Emancipation Park in Charlottesville. That in itself signifies a
political event that was taking place and the reason that sparked controversy amongst
opposing groups. As the day progressed, Mr. James Alex Fields, Jr. drove his
vehicle willingly and knowingly plowed into a group of counter protesters. His
vehicle not only hit the protesters along the way but also plowed into another
vehicle, causing fear and intimidation amongst the civilian population in the
event. His actions killed one person and injured 19 people, causing destruction
and assassination. Mr. Fields Jr, could have very well injured or killed
several more people if the other vehicle in which he plowed into, was not

Domestic terrorism has
become a major threat in the United States. It is a silent and unseen threat
that can affect our public safety in our own soil. While many people may say international
terrorist’s acts such as the attacks on 9-11, are the highest form of threats
towards the United States, domestic terrorism is just as big of a threat.
Domestic terrorism often goes unnoticed until terrorist attacks take place at a
moment’s notice, making them extremely dangerous. The dictionary defines domestic
terrorism as acts that are dangerous to human life and are a violation of the
criminal laws in the United States. These acts appear to be intended to
intimidate a civilian population.  Domestic
terrorism acts are influenced by policy of a government by and carried through
by intimidation and affects the conduct of a government by mass destruction and


Charlottesville Incident










3.     The Department of
Homeland Security classifies the Antifa group as domestic terrorists. Is there
any evidence that Antifa was involved? If not terrorism, what was it?



2.     Which federal and state
agencies were involved with this incident? Comment on interagency cooperation.


1.     Does the Charlottesville
incident meet the definition of terrorism? Be specific.


August 12, 2017, Charlottesville, VA. A man
intentionally slammed his car into a group of protesters, killing a woman and
injuring others. Watch Cell Phone
Video Shows Deadly VA. Crash. As you look at
the video, think about other recent attacks on civilians using vehicles as
weapons. Consider what you know of the assailants’ mental and emotional make-up
at moment of attack. Determine in your own mind if this is domestic terrorism,
a hate crime, a crime perpetrated at the spur of the moment.

Charlottesville Killing: An Act of



21 Dec 2017

Professor Payne, Dr. Lawrence

HLS320, Trident University Experience

Ericka Mena









Module 2