The Black Man Who Was Bludgeoned by Racists in Charlottesville Turns Himself in to Police

Harriet Sinclair
The Black Man Who Was Bludgeoned by Racists in Charlottesville Turns Himself in to Police

The black man who was brutally beaten at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, handed himself in to police on Thursday over a charge of unlawful wounding at the protest.

DeAndre Harris—who was filmed being bludgeoned by white supremacists in footage that went viral after the rally—was charged with the felony on Monday by a local judge who issued a warrant for his arrest on the testimony of a man who claimed he was injured by Harris, The Washington Post reported.

His lawyer said the move was evidence of further victimization.

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"The city of Charlottesville is allowing these same white supremacists to re-victimize my client DeAndre Harris on the word of a single extremist. His word alone, without any additional evidence, allowed for a warrant to go forward," Attorney S. Lee Merritt told CNN.  

Harris, 20, is accused of assaulting self-described “southern nationalist” and chairman of North Carolina’s League of the South, Harold Crews. Merritt suggests video evidence submitted by Crews put his client out of the picture.

 “It’s not physically possible it could be an attack by DeAndre Harris,” Merritt told the Los Angeles Times, citing that the footage shows a white male wearing black hitting Crews in the head.

“It’s very upsetting. It seems the judicial system, in this case, has bent over backward to further assist in further victimizing DeAndre,” he added.

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Indeed, Merritt alleges that by the time the footage was taken, his client had been hospitalized after being beaten by a group of white supremacists.

In a "separate" incident, as Merritt calls it, Harris swung a flashlight at Crews in an attempt to prevent the white supremacist hitting another protester with the spear of a Confederate flag, The Los Angeles Times reported

During the incident, Harris “failed to make significant contact” with Crews, Merritt told the newspaper. "A felony-level assault — that involves pretty serious injury, a maiming or attempted-murder-type injury,” he added.

The violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters resulted in a number of injuries and the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into the group she was demonstrating with at high speed.

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In the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally on August 12, President Donald Trump faced criticism after suggesting there was blame to be shared “on both sides” and stating that not everyone who had participated in the march was a white supremacist.

In the case of Harris’s attack, footage of him being beaten by a group of white supremacists was shared as a way to find the people who attacked him, after Harris and his supporters claimed the police had not done enough to find his assailants.

"They were trying to kill me out there,” Harris said of the attack in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “The police didn’t budge, and I was getting beat to a pulp.”

The former teaching assistant has been released since turning himself in and will appear at a preliminary hearing in mid-December.

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