See snippets from Attorney Andrew Sommerman featured in the Detroit Free Press:
“I don’t think it’s careless,” attorney says. “I think it was their intent to try to muddle” the truth of what happened in Charlottesville.
A Michigan man was falsely accused by conservative and alt-right websites as being the driver of Saturday’s deadly car attack on anti-racist protesters in central Virginia, in the hours after the tragedy, according to the man’s attorney.
The man, who the Detroit Free Press is not naming because his family reported online they have received threats, wrote on Facebook that he drives a 2009 Chevy Impala, not the vehicle involved in the fatal attack in Charlottesville, Va.
“im not the one,” he wrote on Facebook, adding he was from Michigan. His Facebook page says he lives in Detroit.
Andrew Sommerman, a Dallas, Texas based attorney representing the man and his family, said in an interview Sunday night that they believe the Michigan man was targeted because his father owned the Dodge Challenger years ago before legally selling the vehicle. The son drove the father’s car before the sale, according to Sommerman.
Alternative conservative online commentators appeared to single the Michigan man out because of the perception he may have had something in common with the anti-racism protesters injured on Saturday. The man’s lawyer said he’s still investigating.
“There was a clear misidentification,” Sommerman said. “The motivation behind it, I don’t quite understand yet.”
The attorney who specializes in defamation cases said he planned to use the full power of the law against those who falsely claimed that his clients had anything to do with the fatal crash.
“I don’t think it’s careless,” he said. “I think it was their intent to try to muddle” the truth of what happened in Charlottesville.
The episode, Sommerman concluded, was another example of innocent people in Michigan being thrown in harm’s way by the alt-right.
“They have become very fearful,” he said of the man and his family after online threats. State police were notified and the family has been warned they may need to leave their home, according to Sommerman.
The actual suspect named by authorities is a Maumee, Ohio, man being held on charges related to the fatal car crash.
James Fields Jr., 20, was being held at the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. A high school teacher of Fields Jr. described his former student as “a very bright kid but very misguided and disillusioned.”
Authorities said Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old Charlottesville legal assistant, died. Nineteen others were injured in the incident.
See the full article at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/08/13/michigan-man-charlottesville-attack/563312001/