The Black young man who appeared to be the subject of a near-lynching by white supremacists in a graphic video from August’s “Unite the Right” riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, is facing a felony charge while some of those who kicked and beat him as he was lying prone in a parking garage remain free.
DeAndre Harris, 20, was accused by Harold Ray Crews, a self-described “Southern Nationalist” and attorney of launching an attack on him, resulting in the felony charge of unlawful wounding.
The accusation resulted in an arrest warrant issued by a local magistrate who remains unnamed.
“We were not expecting this,” Detective Sgt. Jake Via, who is supervising the parking garage case, told the Washington Post. “We were expecting to do our own investigation into the man’s allegations.”
During the melee, which took place during the second day of white nationalist rallying around a 26-foot-high equestrian statue commemorating General Robert E. Lee, Harris appeared in the video to be singled out and set upon by several hard-right ralliers, including one wielding a pipe. He sustained a spinal injury as well as a head laceration requiring 10 stitches. The video of the mob violence incident went viral and to many, exemplified the violent nature of the right-wing ralliers, including many neo-Nazis.
Two of the men involved in the attack have been identified including Alex Michael Ramos, 33, and Daniel P. Borden, 18, yet others still remain at-large.
Harris’s lawyer, attorney S. Lee Merritt, accused the League of the South of orchestrating the charges, according to Washington Post. Crews is the head of the North Carolina chapter of the group and wasn’t injured “in any way,” according to Merrit. The group upholds white supremacy under the guise of Christian identity conservatism-.
Harris plans on turning himself in, according to his attorney. The charge is punishable by one to five years in prison.
“While he participated in some of the jeering of the white supremacists in his city, letting them know they were not welcome there, he did not instigate any physical assault,” the attorney told The New York Times. “That was done by the men carrying blunt objects and weapons.”
The incident has become one of the most infamous cases of violence to come out of the August 12 riot that claimed the life of Heather Heyer, an anti-racist counterprotester who was killed when a neo-Nazi smashed into protesters with his car. Nineteen others were injured in the attack.
Opponents of the Confederate symbols say that they invoke white supremacy and the Confederates’ exploitation, rape, and murder of Black people.
Supporters claim that the Confederate statues and infamous “Stars and Bars” battle flags represent “heritage, not hate.”
The revisionist pro-Confederate history has formed a crucial ideological pillar for the resurgence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, while also serving to justify Jim Crow segregation laws that systematized the continued oppression and exclusion of Black people throughout much of the 20th century.
Photo Credit: Patch