DeAndre Harris, the young Black man captured on video being beaten in a parking garage during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has now had his federal charges dropped.
Harris was attacked by several white assailants, who were captured on video beating him with a metal pipe. One of them pursued a charge of malicious wounding against Harris, saying that the attackers seen beating Harris were in fact the victims. A warrant for Harris’ arrest was issued in October with the charge of unlawful wounding.
At the time, Harris’ 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.”
Now the felony charge has been dropped, but Harris is still facing pending misdemeanor charges which do not carry jailtime, The Root reports.
“In an atmosphere where it is now clear law enforcement was instructed to stand down and allow violent supremacists to attack civilians, it seems only appropriate the city of Charlottesville reduce the demonstratively unjust charges against Mr. Harris, and we encourage the city to go even further with a total dismissal,” Merritt told The Root.
Harris sustained a broken wrist and head wound requiring eight staples.