DeAndre Harris, the young Black man captured on video being beaten in a parking garage during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is now being charged with a felony related to the incident.
Several assailants, who all appear in the footage to be White, beat Harris with a metal pipe and wooden boards on August 12.
Due to some online campaigns, at least two men seen attacking Harris were identified and charged with malicious wounding. Another unnamed assailant referred to himself and the other attackers as victims. He pursued a charge of malicious wounding against Harris, and Harris was issued an arrest warrant on Monday.
As the New York Times reports, Charlottesville police claim “the victim went to the Magistrate’s office, presented the facts of what occurred and attempted to obtain the warrant. 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 (Va Code 18.2-51) was issued.”
Harris’s lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, said that “while [Harris] 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. That was done by the men carrying blunt objects and weapons.”
Harris sustained a broken wrist and head wound requiring 10 staples. Merritt anticipates that the person who sought Harris’ arrest will claim self-defense “but under no one’s legal standard is it self-defense to chase after someone wielding a flashlight when one of his friends is being speared with a pole, and then beating him maliciously,” Merritt asserts.
According to the Times, Harris quit his job and moved from Charlottesville after the attack. The 20-year-old is fearful he would be harmed again if he returned.
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