Deandre Harris, a black man beaten and later charged with assaulting a white nationalist during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last August, was found not guilty Friday.
The Virginian-Pilot reported Friday that Harris, a 20-year-old from Suffolk, Virginia, was acquitted of a misdemeanor assault charge.
After footage of Harris’ beating at the rally went viral, Harold Crews, a North Carolina lawyer and chairman of the state’s The League of the South, brought the battery charge against the man whose assault became an anti-racist rallying cry.
Shortly after the rally, Crews convinced a magistrate to file charges against Harris, who swung a flashlight at him while under the impression the white nationalist lawyer was assaulting his friend with a flagpole. Charlottesville General District Court Judge Robert Downer determined that Harris swung the flashlight accidentally.
Harris’ beating was notably captured in the parking lot of the Charlottesville Police station, and he “suffered a spinal injury and head lacerations that required 10 stitches,” the Virginian-Pilot reported.
If he’d been found guilty of assaulting Crews, the 20-year-old would have faced up to 12 months behind bars and a $2,500 fine.