Anti-racist protester DeAndre Harris, who was brutally beaten by a group of white supremacists, had the assault charges filed against him dropped after a judge said on Friday the 20-year-old black man was defending himself.
On Aug. 12, a violent white nationalist rally took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead at the hands of an alleged white supremacist. Counterprotesters, including Harris, clashed with the white extremists during the “Unite the Right” event. Photos and video taken the day of the rally show a group of white men attacking Harris in the Market Street Parking Garage.
Harris suffered a concussion, a knee injury and a head laceration, among other injuries, during the assault.
Harold Crews, a lawyer and a neo-Confederate League of the South leader, filed a police report against Harris, alleging the 20-year-old hit him over the head with a flashlight while in the parking garage. Officers then arrested Harris in October on a felony assault charge, news that white nationalist cheered online.
But on Friday, Charlottesville General District Judge Robert Downer Jr. dismissed the charges against Harris, agreeing that the defendant acted in self-defense during the attack.
Intercept journalist Shaun King, along with other activists online, tracked down many of Harris’ alleged attackers that day. While Crews does not face any charges, Jacob Scott, Daniel Borden, Alex Michael Ramos and Tyler Watkins Davis were all identified as taking part in Harris’ assault. Their trials, with the exception of Davis, will take place in April, the Washington Post reports.