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Black Man Beaten By White Supremacists In Charlottesville Is Arrested

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In an incident captured on video and widely shared online, a black man was beaten by several white attackers in a parking garage during August’s rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville,Virginia.

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DeAndre Harris was assaulted in a parking garage beside the Charlottesville police station after a white nationalist rally was disbursed by police (Zach Roberts-AP Photo)

DeAndre Harris, 20, who sustained a spinal injury and a head wound that required 10 stitches, turned himself in to Charlottesville Police on Thursday (Oct. 12) and was served a warrant charging him with unlawful wounding.

Harold Crews, a white man who identifies himself as a “Southern Nationalist” on Twitter, claimed that Harris injured him at a car park following the “Unite the Right” rally on August 12.

Unlawful wound

ing is a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Police said Harris was taken before a magistrate and released on an unsecured bond.

The confrontation took place after a friend of Harris attempted to take a Confederate flag, widely considered a symbol of white supremacy, away from one of the marchers.

A video of the assault was shared and viewed widely in the days following the rally, which saw hundreds of white supremacists marching in Charlottesville to protest the city’s plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. The video of the assault shows Harris being kicked and punched by a group of white supremacists. 

Separately at the rally, a man with links to a white nationalist group allegedly rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. 

Jeff Fogel, who is currently in the running to become Charlottesville’s Commonwealth Attorney, said that Charlottesville police had “a lot to explain,” noting that authorities had been slow to apprehend far-right protesters accused of similar misconduct. 

According to a statement by the Charlottesville police, the alleged “victim went to the magistrate’s office, presented the facts of what occurred and attempted to obtain the warrant”. The statement added: “The magistrate requested that a detective respond and verify these facts. A Charlottesville Police Department detective did respond, verified the facts, and a warrant for unlawful wounding … was issued.”

Regarding the statement’s claim that police “verified” the facts, Fogel said he takes “that to mean that the police claim [Harris] committed the offense. Now it’s up to the police department to show us the proof.”

A national campaign to identify and charge the six men who attacked Harris was spearheaded by Shaun King, a writer and civil rights activist. King collected photo and video evidence of the assault and shared images of the assailants, leading to the identification of at least two, who were also charged with unlawful wounding.

King was outraged by the warrant, saying Harris “is a victim and only a victim in this.”

“I’ve reviewed all of the photo and video evidence at great length. It’s an abomination that he was charged,” he said.

For many in Charlottesville, the warrant is a continuation of discrimination and inequality in their community.

Timothy Porter, an African American resident of Charlottesville, says the system is “crooked” and allows police to “treat minorities (especially black men) however they want”.

Porter, who has been arrested by Charlottesville police in the past, claims he has little hope in the justice system, citing institutional protection for police who harass minorities: “Their bosses allow it, and the courts allow it.”


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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