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Police Say KKK Leader Drove Into Crowd

Virginia prosecutors consider hate crime charges
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2020 6:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Authorities are considering hate crime charges after a man they called a Ku Klux Klan leader drove into a crowd of protesters in Virginia. The number of people struck wasn't clear, the New York Daily News reports, but police reported no serious injuries. "A vehicle revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway" on Sunday in Lakeside, a Richmond suburb, police said. Harry Rogers was denied bail in a court hearing; he's charged with crimes including attempted malicious wounding and assault and battery. Rogers "is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," the prosecutor said. "We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate."

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Authorities said Rogers, 36, told officers when he was arrested that he's president of the Virginia KKK and the highest-ranking official who's not in prison. Interviewed in jail Monday, Rogers said he has ties to the KKK, per WTVR, but said he didn't tell anyone that he's its president. Rogers said he drove on the median and revved his engine to get away from the protesters. Calling Rogers' actions "heinous and despicable," the prosecutor said, "We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law." Rogers' next court appearance is scheduled for August. (In Seattle, a man drove into protesters and opened fire.)

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