Man beaten at Unite the Right rally found not guilty of assault

SATURDAY AUG. 12 2017

DeAndre Harris was brutally assaulted in a parking garage in Charlottesville last summer

A black man violently attacked at last summer's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville was acquitted Friday on charges that he assaulted one of the racists in attendance.

After the verdict was announced, they released a statement saying, in part: "DeAndre Harris' acquittal today shows he never should have been charged with a crime in the first place".

According to information from CBS19, Harris was arrested on the assault charge after a victim reportedly went to the magistrate's office to try and obtain the warrant after presenting officials with his account of what happened during the incident.

Photos and videos of the 12 August attack on Harris in a parking garage were widely shared online.

DeAndre Harris found not guilty.

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Hundreds of white nationalists had gathered at the Charlottesville rally, which was originally organized to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Mr Harris was initially charged with a felony but it was downgraded to misdemeanour assault. The video showed a fight was happening between Crews and Long, and that Crews swung the flagpole toward Long. Harris cuts in and appears to swing a flashlight in Crews' direction. The Gazette reports that Harris suffered a spinal cord injury and required 10 stitches to the head after the beating.

Defense attorney Rhonda Quaglianna argued Harris did not hit Crews and was aiming to strike a flag pole Crews was holding. Moments later, Mr Harris was severely beaten.

The charge was later downgraded to a misdemeanor, which would have resulted in a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,5000 fine.

Downer made his ruling based on the fact that the commonwealth could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Harris meant to hit Crews. The sheer ferocity of the assault heightened the public outcry over a that also included the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a counterprotester who was allegedly run over by white supremacist, James Alex Fields Jr., 20.

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