Four suspected white supremacists charged for actions during Charlottesville riots
Four men suspected of being “members or associates” of the Rise Above Movement (RAM) have been charged in a criminal case stemming from the Charlottesville, Virginia “Unite the Right” rally in 2017. Cole White, Michael Miselis, Benjamin Daley and Thomas Gillen were each charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and one count of violating the federal rights statute, according to BuzzFeed News.
Dino Cappuzzo, task force officer of both the Justice Department and FBI, also alleges that the men participated in acts of political violence at Huntington Beach and Berkeley, California in 2017. The complaint, which first surfaced in a report by Huffington Post, claims White engaged in several violent acts, including head-butting a clergyman and a female counter-protester, the latter of which wound up causing a “severe laceration.”
Another video obtained by the Justice Department shows Daley grabbing a woman by the neck, then slamming her violently into the ground. The RAM is described by the FBI in the criminal complaint as a “militant white supremacist organization based in Southern California.” The FBI initially gathered information on the group from its public Twitter page, and its criminal complaint states the four men “were present and participated in the torch lit march (in Charlottesville) that culminated in violence against students and other counter protestors.”
The torch-lit march in Charlottesville garnered international attention when various white supremacist groups and protestors clashed over the proposed removal of a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E. Lee. After the events of the march, white supremacist sympathizer and U.S. President Donald Trump would infamously go on to note that there were “good people on both sides,” which ignited even more controversy around the events.