Jun 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Klan leader accused of driving into Black Lives Matter protesters

A man accused of driving his pick-up truck into peaceful protesters in Richmond, Virginia, over the weekend is an "admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology," prosecutors said Monday.

Details: Harry H. Rogers, 36, of Virginia, was charged with assault and battery, attempted malicious wounding, and felony vandalism over Sunday evening's incident, tweeted Shannon Taylor, the Commonwealth's Attorney for Henrico County. "We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate," she said in a statement.

  • Prosecutors allege that Rogers drove "recklessly" toward the Black Lives Matter protesters, revving up his truck's engine before driving into the crowd. He appeared in court on Monday morning and was denied bond, according to Richmond news outlet WTVR.

What they're saying: "Protesters acting peaceably, well within their constitutional rights of assembly, should not have to fear violence. We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017," Taylor said in the statement, referencing the white supremacist rally that killed antiracism activist Heather Heyer.

  • "I promise Henricoans that this egregious criminal act will not go unpunished. Hate has no place here under my watch."

Of note: In a separate incident on Sunday, a man drove a vehicle into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters on Seattle's Capitol Hill, shooting and injuring one man.

  • Nikolas Fernandez, 31, who is being held on investigation for first-degree assault, claims he acted in self-defense.

Editor's note: The photo was removed as our general policy is to not use mugshots.

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