DeAndre Harris, second from right, arrives at the Charlottesville district Court in Virginia for his test on Friday.
(Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)
A Virginia judge has acquitted a black man who was brought up on an assault charge after a badly beaten during the violent aftermath of last year’s white supremacy rally in Charlottesville.
DeAndre Harris, 20, was accused of mistreatment of white nationalist Harold Crews in a parking garage after the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally.
News, photos of Harris struck in the garage were widely shared online. He remained with serious injuries.
“I don’t see that Mr. Harris did something wrong that day,” Charlottesville Judge Robert Downer said Friday, according to the Daily Progress, a local newspaper.
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Harris said he waved a flashlight in the direction of the Crews, because he believed Crews was attacking a friend with a flagpole.
The crew, a North Carolina lawyer, persuaded a Charlottesville judge an arrest warrant against Harris in October. He said that the torch bruised face.
Harris supporters in the courtroom burst out in applause when the verdict was announced, the Daily Progress reported. He risks up to a year in jail if convicted for the felony charges.
Four men are charged with the abuse of Harris.
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The rally, planned in part to protest against the removal of a statue of Connected Gene. Robert E. Lee, the blame for the death of a woman who died when a car was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.