*This is a developing story.
The Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) has issued a warrant for DeAndre Harris, the African American man from Suffolk who was the victim of a vicious assault by white supremacists at Unite the Right on August 12. Harris was assaulted at the Market Street Parking Garage by six white supremacists who pushed him to the ground and beat him with wooden pikes. In the assault, Harris sustained a spinal injury and head trauma that required 10 staples. Onlookers filmed the incident, which led to a nationwide crowd sourced campaign led by New York News Daily Columnist Shaun King to bring the perpetrators of the assault to justice, leading to two arrests, one of which was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
According to the warrant issued by the CPD, however, Harris is wanted for unlawful wounding for an injury sustained by one of his attackers. Police have not identified who his accuser is as this time, yet according to the Washington Post, who spoke to Harris’s civil attorney S. Lee Merritt, the charges are “clearly retaliatory” and were likely leveled by someone from a white supremacist group.
Indeed there has been a retaliatory posture from supremacist groups over the charges leveled against Harris. The white supremacist website Occidental Dissent is already heralding this as a win for their movement, claiming the $166,000 people raised for Harris to support his recovery after attack was a “scam.”
In transcripts made available by the monitoring site Restoring The Honor, which has been analyzing events in Charlottesville, Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler had the following exchange in a recent podcast conversation with Nazi Chris Cantwell, who is currently in custody:
Cantwell: “I don’t think they got… Do you know if they have any Leftists in custody? I mean I know they arrested the people who assaulted you, but I’m figuring that they made bail already. No?”
Kessler: “I haven’t heard anything about that but I think this, uhh, what’s his name? Ahh, DeAndre Harris is probably going to be in the clink within a week, and that guy’s such a piece of shit.”
In a press release to NBC29, the CPD stated that the “victim” apparently went to the local magistrate and “presented the facts of what occurred” resulting in the issuing of the warrant. Harris’s attorney had this to say about the warrant, though. “We find it highly offensive and upsetting, but what’s more jarring is that he’s been charged with the same crime as the men who attacked him.”
The fallout from Unite the Right continues to plague the city of Charlottesville. Nonetheless, the warrant for Harris comes on the heels of another torchlit rally led by white nationalist and alt-right scion Richard Spencer this past Saturday night – an event which ended in no arrests or summons by the city for any of the participants.
*Cover photo by WTKR