The mother of a man accused of driving into protesters in Charlottesville has revealed she thought her son was at a Donald Trump event – not a far-right one.
Samantha Bloom, whose 20-year-old son James Alex Field Jr was charged with second degree murder, said she urged him to stay safe the last time they spoke.
“I didn’t know it was white supremacist. I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” said Ms Bloom.
“I don’t really talk to him about his political views. I don’t really understand what the rally was about. He did mention alt-right.”
She added, trailing off: “He had an African-American friend so…”
Ms Bloom later recounted to The Toledo Blade: “I told him to be careful, (and) if they’re going to rally to make sure he’s doing it peacefully.
“I try to stay out of his political views. I don’t get too involved.”
Ms Bloom first heard of her son’s arrest from journalists. She had been out for dinner on Saturday evening, unaware of Field Jr’s involvement in the protests.
One woman was killed when a grey Dodge Challenger ploughed into counter-protesters as violent clashes with groups including Nazis and fascists broke out in Virginia.
Field Jr, of Ohio, has been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.