By Jack Torry
Dispatch Washington Bureau
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at 4:05 PM Updated Aug 22, 2017 at 4:05 PM
In the aftermath of an Ohio man being charged with killing a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month, Sen. Sherrod Brown asked the FBI on Tuesday to provide information the bureau has on “domestic terrorist organizations or hate groups” operating in Ohio.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Brown, D-Ohio, wrote that “the presence of domestic terror organizations and hate groups in Ohio” poses a “threat to both public safety and national security. And I firmly believe that every Ohioan, and every American, has a right to know whether domestic terror organizations or hate groups are known or suspected by law enforcement to have a presence in their community.”
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Referring to James Alex Fields of Toledo, who has been charged with the murder of a 32-year-old woman after he ran his car into a crowd of people in Charlottesville, Brown wrote “The fact that an individual from Ohio is alleged to have traveled to Virginia and committed such an act while attending a white supremacist rally has caused many in my home state, including myself, to question the degree to which domestic terror organizations and hate groups are present and operate in the state of Ohio.”
Fields has been charged with second-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding and three counts of aggravated malicious wounding. In addition to the death of the young woman, 19 other people were injured during the incident.
Last week, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper warned that “Ohio is unfortunately right in the middle of this problem. I don’t think you can sugarcoat this.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists 35 hate groups operating in Ohio.
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