DeAndre Harris is a Black man that was beaten in a Charlottesville parking garage by a group of white supremacists following the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12.
But somehow, he has been charged with a crime in connection to the assault. The Washington Post reports that despite a third person being arrested for assaulting Harris, he was issued an arrest warrant himself in reference to a felony charge of unlawful wounding after Harold Ray Crews reported being injured by the 20-year-old following the altercation.
Crews describes himself as a “Southern Nationalist” in his Twitter bio, and has not commented on the new developments so far.
Harris suffered a spinal injury and a head laceration that required 10 stitches. The magistrate charge against him came less than two days after a second rally held by white nationalists in Charlottesville that reportedly caught city officials by surprise.
Detective Sgt. Jake Via is overseeing the case and is shocked by how things are going. Join the club!
“We were not expecting this. We were expecting to do our own investigation into the man’s allegations,” he said.
But according to the law, alleged crime victims can seek out a warrant from magistrates after they’ve filed a police report.
S. Lee Merritt, is acting as Harris’ attorney. He denounced the charge, alleging that it was orchestrated by the League of the South, an organization deemed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Merritt also rejected Crews’ claims that he was harmed during the altercation.
“We find it highly offensive and upsetting, said Merritt. “But what’s more jarring is that [Harris has] been charged with the same crime as the men who attacked him.”
The attack took place in a garage next to the headquarters of the city’s police department. It was captured on video, which soon went viral days following a rally that took place on Aug. 12. The clash between the white supremacist and the counter protesters left one one, heather Heyer, dead after a white supremacist drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters.Harris’s beating resulted in a push by activists to identify his attacked. Two were charged weeks ago and a third man, Jacob Scott Goodwin, 22, was arrested on Tuesday after being identified by people online.
Journalist and activist Shaun King said he was taken aback by the outcome of this investigation so far.
“I am disgusted that the justice system bent over backwards to issue a warrant for one of the primary victims of that day, when I and others had to fight like hell to get that same justice system to prosecute people who were vicious in their attacks against Harris and others,” King said. “Now we’re seeing white supremacists celebrate on social media, bragging about Harris’s arrest. They’re hailing this as a victory.”
One word: UNBELIEVABLE!
Tracey Pennywell is a writer, foodie, dog lover and CEO of Switch Media, Inc, a blog management and social media company with clients that include DL Hughley, Michael Blackson, Kym Whitley, Tatyana Ali & more.