Deandre Harris, a black man brutally beaten at last year’s white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville — and who was later charged with assaulting a white nationalist — was just acquitted. https://t.co/f6K5prGgSX
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) March 16, 2018
Per The Root:
On Friday, the American criminal-justice system actually got something right; as it turns out, DeAndre Harris, the black man who was brutally beaten during the Charlottesville, Va., Unite the Right white supremacist rally, was found not guilty of assaulting a white nationalist.
Last year, Harris, who was counterprotesting the infamous rally, was cornered and attacked by white supremacists in a parking garage. He sustained multiple injuries, including a broken wrist and staples in his head. Yet for some reason, Harris was charged with felony counts as well as misdemeanor assault following his own beating. The felony charges were ultimately dropped, but he was still forced to stand trial for the misdemeanor.
However, on the same day Harris went to trial, he was immediately acquitted. Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer Jr. found Harris, 20, not guilty. Had Harris been convicted, he would have faced up to 12 months in jail along with a $2,500 fine for allegedly striking Harold Crews, a North Carolina attorney and state chairman of the League of the South, the Washington Post reports.…
In one clip, Crews is seen holding a large flagpole in front of a black protester, who is pulling on the other end. As the two grapple over the pole, Harris swings his flashlight, seemingly hitting Crews on his head or shoulder.
Moments later, several white supremacists cornered Harris in the garage and brutally took him to the ground, attacking him.
As stated, Harris suffered severe injuries, only to be treated as a criminal afterward. His friends and family started a GoFundMe to help pay for his medical expenses, a campaign that raised a whopping $166,045…
… Twenty-year-old DeAndre Harris faced up to a year in prison for hitting Harold Crews, the state chairman of the neo-Confederate group the League of the South, over the head with a flashlight. The incident occurred outside a parking garage, shortly before a brawl between protesters and counterprotesters in the garage, during which Harris was beaten badly by several white supremacists. Harris suffered a spinal injury and a head laceration that required stitches.
Crews brought the charges against Harris two months after the rally, at which point a warrant was issued for his arrest. The charge, originally a felony, was knocked down to a misdemeanor.
Crews (along with legions of right-wingers online) claims that Harris had incited violence by hitting him with the flashlight. But Harris said that he had only struck Crews because Crews had been attacking his friend, Corey Long, with a flagpole…
Four men who assaulted Harris in the garage, including members of Crews’s organization, face trials in the spring.
Cheers broke out in the courtroom when the verdict was read.