Black Man Beaten in Charlottesville Faces Felony Charge

Arrest warrant for unlawful wounding has been issued for DeAndre Harris
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2017 8:03 AM CDT
Black Man Beaten in Charlottesville Faces Felony Charge
In this Aug. 12, 2017, photo, DeAndre Harris, bottom, is assaulted in a parking garage after a white nationalist rally was disbursed by police in Charlottesville, Va.   (Zach D. Roberts via AP)

A black counterprotester at August's white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., who was shown being beaten in a viral video, is now facing his own troubles with the law. The Daily Progress reports an arrest warrant has been issued for 20-year-old DeAndre Harris for his alleged attack on an unnamed victim who says it happened shortly before Harris' own beating in a parking garage on Aug. 12. Per WVIR, a Charlottesville Police Department release notes that the victim went to the local magistrate's office to detail the attack allegedly carried out by Harris and to request a warrant. After a detective "verified" those facts, a warrant against Harris for unlawful wounding, a felony, was issued. Harris was not yet in custody as of the PD's statement.

S. Lee Merritt, one of Harris' attorneys, tells the Washington Post the warrant is "clearly retaliatory" and also "highly unusual" in that it 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 adds. NBC News notes that Merritt started a fundraiser in September for Harris, which has brought in close to $45,000 to help identify and bring to justice his attackers. 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. Meanwhile, Zach Roberts, a journalist who took photos of Harris' beating, tweeted that neither Charlottesville cops nor the FBI have had any interest in interviewing him on what he saw that day as a witness, per the Root. (More Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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