It’s been a little over two years since DeAndre Harris encountered a gang of violent white supremacists in a parking garage in downtown Charlottesville. Still, the events of the day continue to haunt him. In an interview with The Washington Post, the former educational aid said his mind constantly replays the beating that he received on August 12, 2017 and threats from neo-nazis have not ceased.
Harris, who relocated from Charlottesville after his attack, says that he has tried to re-start his life, but doing so has presented many obstacles. Harris told The Post, that white supremacists have found out where he works and have called in threats. In one incident, a man called the corporate office of his job using racial slurs and asking for the now-car salesman.
That same day, Harris received a Facebook message from a man whose profile photo was of confederate general Robert E. Lee and featured a quote of his saying, “Study hard, be always a gentleman, live cleanly and remember God.” Staurt’s message to Harris was, “I’m looking for a 2010 dark gray Dodge Challenger. Any suggestions?”
“I put two and two together and realized that was the car that killed Heather Heyer,” Harris told The Post. “I sent it straight to my attorney.”
Harris says he’s forgiven his assailants for what they did to him, but he will not forget. The PTSD makes that challenging, as well as being recognized from the widely reported case. In addition, he’s disturbed by the lenient sentences the men received.
“In the next six years, all these guys will be right back at it. I thought they’d be going to jail for a longer time,” Harris told The Post. “If it had been a white guy who was attacked, and it was all my friends beating him up, we would never have seen the light of day again.”
Though the events of August 2017 and the aftermath from it is still shocking to the 22-year-old, he focuses on the positive, saying, “Thankfully, I am still alive.”