A black man who was brutally attacked by a group of white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville is now facing a felony charge related to the assault.
Charlottesville police say a local magistrate issued a warrant against 20-year-old Deandre Harris on Monday (Oct. 9) for one count of malicious wounding, after an accuser, who remains unidentified, claimed to have been injured during the brawl.
Harris’ civil rights attorney S. Lee Merritt told the Washington Post the charge was “clearly retaliatory” since the accuser is a member of a white supremacist group.
He also added that it’s “highly unusual” the warrant was issued by a magistrate, not the cops.
“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,” Merritt said. He maintains that his client did not instigate the fight.
In a statement provided to WVIR, the Charlottesville Police Department notes that the victim went to the local magistrate’s office to detail the attack allegedly carried out by Harris.
After describing what took place to a detective the magistrate issued the felony warrant.
On Aug. 12 Harris was marching in opposition to the rally when a fight broke out between protesters and counterprotesters in a parking garage.
Several white men descended on Harris and images showed them kicking and hitting him with what appeared to be poles while he’s curled up on the ground.
Two men have already been arrested in that case: Alex Michael Ramos, 33, of Georgia, and Ohio’s Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, both charged with malicious wounding.