The organizers of the "Unite the Right" rally that drew hundreds of white supremacists to Virginia used racial slurs and clowned around during opening statements in their trial.
The civil rights group Integrity First for America brought a lawsuit against the rally organizers under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which allows victims of racially motivated violence to sue conspirators who harmed them, and the organization's legal team argued that rally organizers carried out a plot to bring violent right-wing extremists to Charlottesville, reported BuzzFeed News.
"They wore riot gear, they marched in formation, they carried shields that were later used to break through the counterprotesters, and they carried flags that were later used as weapons," attorney Karen Dunn told jurors. "This case is a case about violence and intimidation that was planned for months and culminated in a tragic and violent weekend on Aug. 11 and 12 of 2017, right here in Charlottesville, Virginia."
On the other hand, Christopher Cantwell, the right-wing shock jock known as the "crying Nazi," used his opening statement to promote his radio program, mention Mein Kampf, utter the N-word and blast Antifa activists.
"You'll hear us making a couple racist jokes, we're sort of notorious for those things," Cantwell said. "But what you won't hear is a conspiracy to commit any crime, much less a violent one."
"I'm not a lawyer … [but] I'm the best attorney I could afford," Cantwell added, "and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."
White nationalist Richard Spencer, who has seen his profile drop since getting sucker-punched on video after Donald Trump's inauguration, also represented himself, saying the lawsuit had already "financially crippled" him and insisted that he did not initiate the deadly violence or communicate often with his two-dozen co-defendants.