* Was Fields guided by conspirators to Fourth Street?In that area, only Fourth Street allows vehicle traffic. First, Second, Third and Fifth Streets allow only pedestrian traffic. Fields was able to drive into the crowd only because:
* Why did the counter-protesters turn northward onto Fourth Street?
* Why did Fields idle and drive his car forwards and backwards on Fourth Street for two or more minutes before he drove into the crowd?
* Why had a maroon van and a black truck parked at the intersection of Fourth Street and Water Street?
1) he positioned his car on Fourth Street and
2) the walking crowd turned from Water Street onto Fourth Street.
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If you study the streets' layout and traffic, and if you study the protesters' and counter-protesters' movements, you too might wonder how the car and the crowd both came to be on Fourth Street at the same time. You too might wonder further whether the encounter was arranged by a conspiracy.
I have found that the following considerations satisfied many of my own suspicions.
During or after that riot, Fields walked from the area of Emancipation Park to McIntire Park, where he had parked his car. During that walk, Fields acquainted himself with three men who likewise were walking from Emancipation to McIntire.
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Afterwards, those three men were questioned by police interrogators, and their statements were summarized during the preliminary hearing that took place on December 14, 2017. (Footnote 1)
If there were some conspiracy to place Fields on Fourth Street, then the conspirators surely would have arranged for him to park his car in the town center.
had walked southward from Justice Park.
Fields drove southward on Fourth Street into the crowd at 1:40 p.m.
Twenty minutes earlier, at 1:20, about 100 counter-protesters walked from Justice Park southward through the relevant blocks of Fourth Street. Specifically, they walked southward from Jefferson to Market to Main to Water Street and beyond. (Footnote 2)
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This large movement of counter-protesters might have attracted Fields to Fourth Street. I think he positioned his car to watch them walking southward.
to establish a base in Justice Park.
I suspect that the maroon van and the black truck were make-shift ambulances for these "medic tents" and that these two vehicles parked at the intersection of Fourth and Water to be ready for any fights that might happen in that area.
The reason why the counter-protesters turned northward on Fourth Street was that they were returning to their base in Justice Park. (Footnote 4)
because of an unpredictable reason.
The 100 counter-protesters had walked southward on Fourth Street at 1:20 p.m. because they had been told that a racial confrontation was developing two blocks south of Water Street.
This situation was unpredictable. Various protesters and counter-protesters where fighting and wandering around in a rather large area of several blocks. The particular place and particular time of the supposed racial confrontation were rather random. (Footnote 5)
Therefore it's unlikely that there was any advance plan to send the 100 counter-protesters walking southward on Fourth Street at 1:20 p.m.
Based on the above considerations, I summarize the situation as follows. Around noon, Fields walked a half-hour to get his car at McIntire Park and then drove into the town center, where he drove around for a while. At around 1:20 p.m. he saw a group of about 100 counter-protesters walking southward from Justice Park on Fourth Street, and so he idled his car at the intersection of Fourth and Market and watched them walking southward.
At around 1:40, the counter-protesters, having found that the reported racial confrontation was not happening, began walking northward on Fourth Street in order to return to Justice Park.
That is why Fields was on Fourth Street and why the counter-protesters were walking northward on Fourth Street.
The maroon van and black truck had been sent to the Fourth-Water intersection as a precaution by the people running the medic tents in Justice Park. That is why those two vehicles stood at that intersection for several minutes.
Now I will summarize the evidence about the car's movements on Fourth Street before he drove into the crowd. Some evidence indicates that he moved forward and backward and idled for a rather long time -- perhaps two or more minutes. Perhaps he was interacting with some conspirators who were standing along the street and advising or signaling him.
People who wonder along those lines should recognize that before the car began driving into the crowd, only two moments were recorded on video (as far as the public knows). The surveillance camera of a restaurant at the intersection of Fourth Street and Main Street filmed the car drive through the intersection
1) forward and southward at about 1:40The precise difference between those two moments was 70 seconds.
2) backward and northward at about 1:41
During that interval, Fields drove forward, southward into the crowd and then drove backward, northward away from the crowd. That forward and backward movement took about 45 seconds, according to a video made by Brennan Gilmore.
Therefore, only 25 seconds of those 70 seconds were not filmed. Perhaps Fields interacted with some conspirators along Fourth Street during those 25 seconds.
The only other evidence about the movements of Fields' car on Fourth Street before the crash is eyewitness statements that are not available to the public. Some such statements were mentioned by Detective Steven Young during the preliminary hearing on December 14, 2017. Young apparently gave also some off-the-record statements to journalists, who therefore were able to add some details to their newspaper articles about the hearing.
However, this information about the car's pre-crash movements is so sketchy, disjointed, confused, second-hand and third-hand that it's practically worthless. Before the car was filmed by the restaurant camera driving south through the Fourth-Main intersection, we do not know any specific details about the car's movements -- when, where, how long, how far?
The publicly available evidence from the restaurant camera indicates only that Fields was south of the Fourth-Main intersection for 70 seconds, during which he drove into the crowd.
He was north of that intersection for a considerable time -- a minute or more? -- before he drove southward through the intersection. During that considerable time, he idled and drive forward and backward, according to eyewitnesses who said so to police investigators. That is essentially all the evidence about those car movements that is available to the public. We don't know any times, locations or distances.
Any speculation that Fields interacted with conspirators on Fourth Street is pure speculation, based on no facts at all.
For more details and discussion, read this blog's articles that precede this article.
Preliminary Hearing of James Fields, pages 32-43
Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia, pages 140-142
Independent Review, page 123
Independent Review, page 143
Independent Review, pages 140-142