Charlottesville poses new civil rights test for Sessions

2017-09-04 16:59
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images via AFP)

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images via AFP)

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WATCH: Trump insists both groups to blame for violence

2017-08-17 12:45

USA President Donald Trump, resolute in his views, sparked conflicting opinions on Tuesday when he said both groups of protesters in the Charlottesville violence on Saturday were to blame. Watch. WATCH

Washington - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a tough new test of his commitment to protecting civil rights as he oversees the Justice Department's investigation of the Charlottesville violence.

The former Alabama senator has denounced racism and bigotry, and he's called the driver's actions at the neo-Nazi rally an "evil" act of domestic terrorism worthy of a federal civil rights investigation.

The suspect was charged with malicious wounding after the beating of a black man during violent clashes in Charlottesville the day of a white nationalist rally.

Civil rights advocates say they're keeping close watch because Sessions' history has them concerned - including his changes to how the department enforces civil rights law.

Experts says Sessions faces legal limitations in deciding whether to bring hate crimes charges against the driver.

Sessions may decide that the state murder charges already levelled against the man behind wheel are sufficient for justice.

Read more on:    jeff sessions  |  us  |  racism

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