Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) on Saturday issued a statement calling for the Department of Justice to investigate James Alex Fields Jr., the alleged driver of the car that plowed through counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier in the day. The accident killed one and injured at least 19 others.
In his statement, Cruz condemns white supremacy groups and their fear mongering:
It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed. Heidi’s and my prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured in the ongoing violence in Charlottesville. The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.
The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate. Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.
These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this. Our Nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition ‘that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’
After Cruz’s call, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the federal government opened an investigation into the tragic accident.
“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,” Session said in a statement, NPR reported. “The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and as this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”
The incident occurred Saturday afternoon when Fields Jr. allegedly ran his Dodge Charger through a crowd of counter-protesters who were demonstrating against the white nationalist “Unite Right” rally.